GAO To CMS: 5 Ways To Improve

Staff Writer | Government Health IT | August 1, 2014

Unless the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) takes further action to improve, the same problems that ballooned costs of the website's rollout will continue, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said.  In a report outlining mismanagement and waste connected to the Obama Administration's health insurance marketplace, the GAO recommended five steps the CMS should take to continue to shape up the project.  William T. Woods, CMS director of acquisition and sourcing management, in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, gave a pointed critique of CMS planning for the website.

Many of the problems related to lack of planning and inadequate supervision of the contractors hired by CMS to develop the website.  "We found that CMS undertook the development of and its related systems without effective planning or oversight practices," Woods said, "despite facing a number of oversight challenges that increased both the level of risk and of the need for effective oversight."

Woods went on to recommend five actions CMS should take to improve management of

1. Take immediate steps to assess the causes of continued FFM (federally facilitated marketplace) cost growth and delayed system functionality and develop a mitigation plan designed to ensure timely and successful system performance

2. Ensure that quality assurance surveillance plans and other oversights documents are collected and used to monitor contractor performance...