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FCW : November 30, 2013
When HealthCare.gov launched Oct. 1, a team of IT personnel was standing by to deal with bug reports from contrac- tors, insurance issuers and heavy users of the site, including the army of "navi- gators" enlisted to help people enroll. The meeting notes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) offer an inside look at how a government team tracks information and assigns xes in the midst of a deeply troubled site launch. Here are some of the more interest- ing details from the notes: 1. Employees from Serco, the con- tractor in charge of processing paper applications, were not able to log into the site on the launch date. Once they did access the system, they discovered discrepancies between the paper forms and the online database. 2. The help desk in charge of deal- ing with identity con rmation issues, run by Experian, was reporting four- to ve-hour waits on opening day. In addition, some users were confused because Experian advertised its credit- 10 HealthCare.gov bugs you might have missed disability claims have been cleared from VA's backlog since March. 200K Trending reporting products on telephone hold recordings. 3. As late as Oct. 17, internal CMS staffers were not clear on the right way to write bug reports. 4. Three-fourths of the data hub calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs database indicated that the applicant was deceased, which could represent attempts at fraud. It was later learned that the Veterans Health Administration s data veri cation sys- tem was not working properly. 5. CMS' Of ce of Information Serv- ices (OIS) eliminated some of the ave- nues for insurers to report problems, ask questions and learn about known problems with the site. 6. CCIIO's internal dashboard pro- vided only the daily number of prob- lems with enrollment forms submitted to insurance carriers, forcing the center to rely on news reports for a cumula- tive number. 7. On opening day, CCIIO did not know if the system was over capacity or if the identity management system was broken. 8. The data hub that con rms eli- gibility and the Federally Facilitated Exchanges were not communicating properly to keep an accurate tally of unique applicants. 9. An initial effort to create an IT troubleshooting group called for a joint effort between OIS and CCIIO: "OIS calls out the issues, and CCIIO identi- es the implications." 10. Some of the IT complaints that came in from navigators were routed back to navigators. --- Adam Mazmanian November 30, 2013 FCW.COM 3 Serco's John Lau was one of several HealthCare.gov contractors who testified on Capitol Hill in October. Among other problems, Serco employees were unable to access the site on the day it launched. FCW CALENDAR Cloud computing Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the Information Sharing Environment, will keynote this FCW Executive Brie ng on agencies cloud adoption and the outlook for 2014. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/FCWcloud IT security Commerce Department CIO Simon Szykman, Energy Department CIO Robert Brese and Peace Corps CIO Dorine Andrews are among the speakers at the three-day GTRA SecureGov Council Meeting. Leesburg, Va. http://is.gd/doheja 12/10 NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN FCW s Federal 100 awards program offers the best opportunity to honor federal IT s top performers in government and industry. Submit nominations at FCW.com/fed100 by Dec. 23. 12/8-10 AP IMAGES
November 15, 2013