The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, part of HHS, has obligated more than $800 million across 60 contracts for building and maintaining Healthcare.gov and the federal insurance marketplace. (Sheila Vemmer/staff)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services has obligated more than $800 million across 60 contracts for building and maintaining Healthcare.gov and the federal insurance marketplace, according to a new report from the Health and Human Services department’s inspector general. The IG questioned the department’s oversight of contractors involved in the project.
The agency has so far spent more than $500 million, according to report, expected to be the first of several examining the creation and launch of Healthcare.gov.
“CMS relied—and continues to rely extensively—on contractors to operate the federal marketplace. The troubled launch of the federal marketplace on Oct. 1, 2013 raised serious concerns about the department’s management and oversight of the project, including the selection and oversight of many contractors that played a role in the development and operation of the federal marketplace,” the IG wrote.
The botched rollout of Healthcare.gov on Oct. 1, 2013 was accompanied by excessive wait times, website time outs, incomplete registration processes and a lack of network capacity.
Critics in Congress, the private sector and former government officials pointed toward a cumbersome and leaderless program management and procurement process at CMS and HHS. A group of government and private sector professionals were called in to fix the website, which eventually met and exceeded its enrollment goals.
The creation of Healthcare.gov was spread across contracts of different types, including firm-fixed-price contracts, time-and-materials contracts, cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts and combinations of those, according to the report.
The total value of all the awarded contracts is potentially more than $1.7 billion, according to the report.