- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Md. health exchange severs ties with Noridian
Question of the Day
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland’s health-exchange board voted to fire the state’s prime information technology contractor for Maryland’s defective health care exchange, the state’s health secretary told lawmakers Monday.
Maryland’s exchange has been plagued by computer problems that have made it difficult for people to enroll through the online exchange. While state officials say many improvements have been made since its Oct. 1 debut, problems were so rampant that lawmakers passed emergency legislation last month to create a backup plan for people who tried to enroll for coverage Jan. 1 but couldn’t through no fault of their own. Maryland has paid Noridian about $65 million to build the troubled exchange.
The state will transition the role of prime IT contractor to Optum/QSSI, the general contractor that the exchange hired in December, Sharfstein said.
“This transition will support the exchange’s goal of enrolling as many Marylanders as possible in quality, affordable health care by the close of open enrollment on March 31,” Sharfstein said.
The health secretary said Optum/QSSI will bring additional IT expertise to the project. He also said the company will contract with key existing subcontractors to improve and maintain the current technology underlying the Maryland Health Connection in the short term.
“Throughout the past four months, Noridian has complied with its contractural obligations under tremendous pressure and constant changes by the state,” McGraw said in a statement, adding that Noridian has implemented 163 infrastructure fixes and performance-tuning activities.
McGraw also said the company completed 445 enhancements and bug fixes, including nine critical incidents identified by Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration.
Isabel FitzGerald, the state’s secretary of information technology, told the Joint Oversight Committee on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange that she set clear benchmarks in December for the Noridian team to meet, and they were not achieved. She said Optum will assume responsibilities for the development work and the maintenance and operation of the existing system. FitzGerald said the decision was effective Monday.
“The majority of that core work is done by subcontractors today, and those subcontracts will be assigned to Optum,” FitzGerald said.
Maryland is one of 14 states that is running its own health exchange.
FitzGerald also provided an update on the current state of the information technology system. Since Oct. 1, there have been a total of 1,538 defects. She said 1,072 of them have been closed. A total of 382 remain open, and 24 of those are currently in progress.
The state continues to evaluate alternatives to the present IT structure for after the close of open enrollment March 31, with an eye toward the next enrollment period that begins in November. The state is considering adopting technology developed by another state, joining a consortium of other states, partnering with the federal exchange or making major fixes to overhaul Maryland’s existing system.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq