Integrating Health Insurance Marketplace Data to Visualize Efforts and Impact

Streamlining Project Management in Marketplace Communication & Outreach

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services streamlined its Marketplace outreach reporting pathway and developed prototypes for data visualizations for improved decision-making at CMS and HHS.

Integrating Health Insurance Marketplace Data:
Watch the 5 minute project presentation and pitch.


Project Summary

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other parts of HHS have been tasked with conducting outreach efforts to reach the uninsured. Recognizing the importance of having accessible data to drive strategy and collaboration for Marketplace outreach efforts, CMS and HHS explored ways to improve the use of outreach and enrollment information as a feedback mechanism to improve decision making as to the allocation of resources.

This project had two components: The first was a focus on improving CMS’s data collection system, RECON (a custom implementation of Salesforce) to track activities and outreach for CMS Regional and Central Offices. After interviewing end-users and watching their actual interactions with the system, an “Activity Wizard” was created for RECON to address significant data entry and quality barriers. The RECON “Activity Wizard” was piloted with lead RECON users and is undergoing refinements for agency wide use during the upcoming fall Open Enrollment period.

The second component of this project involved the development of visual data dashboard prototypes that combined RECON data and Marketplace enrollment data. The goal of these prototypes was to demonstrate how the information could be used to find possible correlations in spikes in enrollment or account creation activities. Refinements of this prototype through end-user engagement will determine the data sources needed to be incorporated and the specific visualizations desired.

Team Photo

Team Members

Stephanie Magill (Project Lead), Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Bob Adams, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Marni Land, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Jermaine Burkhalter, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Project Lead’s Approving Supervisor:
John Hammarlund, Regional Administrator, CMS Regions V and X


HHS Ignite

HHS Ignite is the IDEA Lab’s incubator for Department staff with ideas on how to modernize government. Selected teams are introduced to startup methodologies for problem identification and project implementation. In the entrepreneurial spirit, Ignite projects are iterative, their impacts measurable, and their solutions scalable. This is one of 13 projects that participated in the beta year of Ignite which ran from June 2013 to February 2014.


Status Update: 3 Months Later

As part of Ignite’s approach to evaluating its effectiveness, each Ignite team is asked to provide information on their project status three months following their pitch. when checking in with this CMS team, they indicated that the project has been moving along since the end of Ignite.

From the Project Lead: “The RECON wizard deployed and outreach staff across CMS and across the country are using it to enter their outreach data into RECON. In addition, the second step of the project, that was just underway at the time of my presentation, has been moving along thanks to the good work of CMS Central Office and Will Yang. My understanding is that we have slowly been collecting data and determining how best to use the information.

I’m pleased that the project has made it this far and seems to be continuing along a good path. The support of Ignite definitely elevated its status and put it in front of the right people to keep it moving forward. It is an especially great opportunity for those of us in the regions who don’t always get to work on the creative and innovative side of things.”

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