November brought continued scrutiny on the federal health insurance exchange implemented by CGI. The rollout of the online portals has been rather rocky for many states that gave facilitation to the feds. During the first month’s launch, only 106,000 Americans were able to successfully enroll in health insurance plans utilizing the federal exchange. This awfully low number is forcing the Obama administration to lower its original goal of 800,000 enrollees in the first two months.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) along with CGI and other IT vendors used November to make extensive fixes to the system in hopes of a more streamlined, less frustrating experience for users by December 1. So far, enrollment has been notably better than October, and more changes to the portal will undoubtedly be made in the months to come.
In November, the health and human services team saw the release of more than 1,000 solicitations with either health care or social services as a primary vertical. The word cloud below represents the frequency of terms in those solicitations.
As you can see below, California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania are among the states with the highest number of health and human services-related solicitations, while Wyoming, Indiana, and Arkansas had little to none.
Kentucky canceled its request for proposals (RFP) to procure a Medicaid enterprise management system (MEMS) and fiscal agent, but plans to re-release the RFP in the future. The current contract with HP Enterprises is set to expire in November 2014.
Vermont awarded a contract for its Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) management information system (MIS), electronic benefit transfer (EBT) project to Ciber, Inc. The contract is valued at $2.5 million.
Connecticut awarded 21st Century Technologies Inc. for fraud detection and prevention services. The contract has a 26-month base and is set to expire in November 2016.
California released a request for information (RFI) for health care price transparency services. The state will be utilizing funding under the “Grants to States to Support Health Insurance Rate Review and Increase Transparency in Health Care Pricing, Cycle III” to secure services that will collect and analyze health care cost and quality information.
Colorado released an RFI for recovery audit contractor medical services. RFI responses are due on December 6, 2013. The selected contractor will analyze and review Medicaid and Colorado Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) claims, and provide post-payment review services to help identify fraud, waste and abuse.
Despite the holidays, November and December are typically filled with a significant amount of activity in the state and local government contracting arena. Most states’ top priority is to get their health insurance marketplaces running successfully, especially since the final day of open enrollment (March 31, 2014) is not too far away. This will certainly be the case for the feds as well.
In the coming months, vendors can expect to see more requests for information and services relating to not only fixes or enhancements to insurance exchange systems, but also for upgrading or implementing existing health-related IT systems that must interface with state-based or federal portals. For that, contractors should continue to pay attention to enrollment numbers across the states, in addition to issues arising with the exchange launch. Showcasing desirable solutions for states to adopt will be critical in securing business.
Deltek's Health Care and Social Services Team will be releasing a report in January to provide an update on statewide implementation efforts for exchanges. In the meantime, be sure to check out Deltek’s Health Insurance Exchange Vertical Profile Application to learn more about the ACA's initiative. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.