Gov. sees fix for failed health website

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Deval Patrick wants to address technical problems with the state’s health care website. 22News explains how he plans to get people enrolled with health insurance.

The Commonwealth has had to compensate for health care website problems by extending health plans and manually transferring people from old to new Mass. Health programs, but now the Governor is taking steps to get the website working.

Independent consulting firm Mitre has found rampant technical difficulties with the state’s health care website; ranging from error messages to data transfer problems to lack of user testing.

Gov. Patrick told 22News, “Bottom line, the website that was supposed to make it easy has not worked well enough and the vendor on whom we relied has not been reliable.”

The vendor, CGI, was hired by Massachusetts to develop the health care website. Mitre found CGI understaffed and consistently late on deadlines.

In response, Gov. Patrick has hired Blue Cross Blue Shield senior strategist Sarah Iselin, to brief him and oversee management of the troubled website. He’s also contracted Optum, a tech consultant, to complete the website.

According to Sarah Iselin, the new special assistant to Gov., “We’ll be holding weekly briefings in which we’ll be sharing with you information about the progress we’re making.”

Andy Slavitt, Group Exec. VP at Optum, said, “The technology is fixable, there’s a lot of to and there are more resources needed but the right activities are underway.”

The state’s main task is to transition about 300,000 people from old health plans to new ones compliant with the federal Affordable Care Act.

State health officials say they’re currently working with more than 100,000 people to get them enrolled in new subsidized health plans compliant with the federal Affordable Care Act.

Massachusetts must have subsidized health insurance recipients re-enrolled by the federal health care enrollment deadline on March 31st.

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