A Clear Path Forward for HealthCare.gov

Posted October 25, 2013
By Julie Bataille, Director of Communications, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Earlier this week, we announced that management expert and former CEO and Chairman of two publicly traded companies, Jeff Zients, would lend his expertise to our efforts to improve the consumer experience on HealthCare.gov.  At the request of the President and Secretary Sebelius, Jeff worked over the last week with a team of expert engineers and technology managers from leading technology companies around the country to assess the overall state of the HealthCare.gov site. I’m writing today to share their conclusions.

In Jeff’s own words, “the topline result of this assessment is that the HealthCare.gov site IS fixable. It will take a lot of work, and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed, but, let me be clear: HealthCare.gov is fixable.”

Based on our assessment, we now have a clear path forward.  The problems we have identified with the site fall into two broad categories: performance issues, such as the speed, response time and reliability issues that many consumers have been frustrated with; and functional problems, which are the bugs that prevent the software from working the way it’s supposed to. 

We’ve created a punchlist of fixes across these categories and we’re going to punch them out one by one.  In order to do that as quickly and efficiently as possible, we are bringing in a general contractor to manage the overall effort.  They will work around the clock with all the key decision makers and players, including CMS leadership and senior re presentatives from each vendor and each contractor.  As Jeff said, there will be a relentless focus on speed and execution to work through the punch list.  

We know that today, people are signing up for more affordable health care coverage at HealthCare.gov – nearly 700,000 people have filled out applications nationwide from both the federal and state marketplaces. While we work toward a better HealthCare.gov, consumers should continue to sign up.  There are four ways to apply for coverage, including online, and each week HealthCare.gov will get better.  By the end of November, HealthCare.gov will work smoothly for the vast majority of consumers. 

It is important for us to deliver on the promise of affordable health coverage for Americans who want it, and we are committed to doing just that by getting HealthCare.gov right.