Sebelius calls for investigation of health insurance website

McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 11, 2013 

The federal government will investigate the flawed launch of the online shopping site for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Wednesday.

“As we continue our relentless efforts to enhance – and as we continue to adapt and improve based on the feedback we are getting from customers and issuers – we must take concrete action to prevent these problems in the future,” Sebelius said in a news release.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., called for the investigation into the contracting process for the website in a Nov. 15 letter to HHS signed by 15 other Democratic senators.

Hagan said on Wednesday that she was pleased that the investigation was going forward. She added: “There is no excuse for not having the website ready from day one, and we must learn whatever lessons we can to ensure we never again have an issue like the initial failures of I will continue to monitor the progress of this investigation to ensure it is completed in a timely and transparent manner."

Sebelius said there would be three parts to the investigation:

Health and Human Services Inspector General Dan Levinson will review the development of the website.

A new full time risk officer will be appointed to work to improve management practices at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, starting with IT contracting.

And CMS employee training will be improved for managing projects that involve contractors.

Repairs to took hundreds of federal and private sector IT experts. On Wednesday, new figures showed users of the website more than quadrupled in November.

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