- HHS' Office of Inspector General conducted a five year review of HealthCare.gov as part of a new report, released this morning.
- Upon its launch on October 1, 2013, HealthCare.gov experienced website outages and technical malfunctions, although the website improved in performance after CMS made corrective steps.
- OIG found initial failures in the website included an absence of clear leadership and delays in decisionmaking.
In addition, the report stated intial failures of the website can be chalked up to too much time spent on developing policy, too little time devoted to website development, and failure surrounding the website's development contract management.
The study also points to CMS' inefficient organizational structure, which led to poor coordination between policy and technical work.
The review involved interviews with 86 current and former HHS and CMS officials, staff, and contractors that worked on the website, as well as a look into thousands of HHS and CMS documents, management reports, internal correspondence, and website development contracts.
Factors discovered which helped the website recover in two months included an adopted practice of "ruthless prioritization," which allowed for work efforts to align with the practicable goals.
The report found CMS management continues to struggle with implementing the federal marketplace and in streamlining its operations and services. OIG called for CMS to take into account lessons learned from the study in order to continue progress on the website.