A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Quality/Access"

Galen Institute: Congress Holds Oversight Hearing on Failing State Exchanges

Galen Institute
Thu, 2015-10-01
Lackluster enrollment numbers, technology issues, and high maintenance costs are among the challenges plaguing ObamaCare state exchanges that were reviewed by the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee at a hearing Tuesday.

Audit: Improvements Needed to Ensure the Accuracy of the Allocation of the Health Insurance Provider Fee

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Thu, 2015-10-01
This audit was initiated as part of our continued coverage of the IRS’s implementation of key Affordable Care Act tax provisions. The overall objective of this review was to determine whether the IRS has developed processes to identify providers required to file premium reports, assess penalties on those that did not, and accurately determine health insurance providers’ market shares and applicable annual fees.

Audit: CMS Did Not Always Manage and Oversee Contractor Performance for the Federal Marketplace as Required

The Department of Health and Human Services
Thu, 2015-10-01
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established health insurance exchanges (commonly referred to as “marketplaces”) to allow individuals and small businesses to shop for health insurance in all 50 States and the District of Columbia (States). For each State that elected not to establish and operate its own marketplace (State marketplace), the ACA required the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) to operate a marketplace (the Federal marketplace) within the State. Beginning on October 1, 2013, the Federal marketplace offered private insurance plans, known as qualified health plans, and enrolled individuals in those plans through its HealthCare.gov Web site (Web site) or through other means. However, consumers experienced significant problems accessing the Web site, including slow response times, errors that dropped consumers out of the enrollment process, and unplanned outages that made enrollment difficult or impossible.

Audit: CMS' Implementation of Security Controls Over the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System Needs Improvement

The Department of Health and Human Services
Thu, 2015-10-01
This summary report provides an overview of the results of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) review of the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System (MIDAS). It does not include specific details of the vulnerabilities that we identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. We have provided more detailed information and recommendations to officials responsible for the MIDAS so that they can address the issues we identified. The findings listed in this summary reflect a point in time regarding system security and may have changed since we reviewed these systems.

GAO: Electronic Health Records: Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability

United States Government Accountability Office
Wed, 2015-09-30
Representatives from the 18 nonfederal initiatives GAO reviewed described a variety of efforts they are undertaking to achieve or facilitate electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, but most of these initiatives remain works in progress. EHR interoperability is the ability of systems to exchange electronic health information with other systems and process the information without special effort by the user, such as a health care provider. These initiatives’ efforts include creating guidance related to health data standards, encouraging the adoption of certain health data standards or policies that facilitate interoperability, and operating networks that connect EHR systems to enable interoperability.

Katie Bo Williams: HealthCare.Gov Faulted for Weak Cybersecurity

The Hill
Thu, 2015-09-24
The federal government stored the sensitive personal data of millions of people who purchased insurance through ObamaCare on a network with basic cybersecurity flaws, a federal audit revealed Thursday. HealthCare.gov, the much-maligned federal exchange for healthcare coverage, suffered from a number of security issues, according to the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Stephanie Armour: Audit Finds Deficiencies in New York State’s Health-Insurance Exchange

The Wall Street Journal
Wed, 2015-09-23
Some controls New York state relied on to make sure people were eligible for health-insurance coverage and subsidies on the state-run exchange were deficient, potentially letting some consumers get benefits they weren’t entitled to, an audit found.

Arielle Levin Becker: GAO: Still Work to Do on Obamacare State Exchange IT Systems

The CT Mirror
Thu, 2015-09-17
More than a year after launching, state-run health insurance exchanges, including Connecticut's, still hadn't fully completed key information technology functions, federal auditors said in a report released Wednesday. The Government Accountability Office’s report, which noted that states have spent close to $1.45 billion in federal funds on IT systems for the insurance marketplaces created by the federal health law, rated the 14 state-run exchanges' capabilities as of February in four categories.

Megan McArdle: How HealthCare.gov Went So, So Wrong

Bloomberg View
Wed, 2015-09-16
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services inspector general has issued a new report on what went wrong with the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Or rather, one thing that went wrong: how the agency mismanaged the contracts so that they experienced significant cost overruns.

John Tozzi: How Healthcare.gov Botched $600 Million Worth of Contracts

Bloomberg Business
Tue, 2015-09-15
The public employees responsible for overseeing $600 million in contracts to build healthcare.gov were inadequately trained, kept sloppy records, and failed to identify delays and problems that contributed to millions in cost overruns. That’s according to a new government audit, published today. It reveals widespread failures by the federal agency charged with managing the private contractors who built healthcare.gov.

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