Fired Web Developer CGI Demands More Money for Obamacare Website Work

Sitecore modules

According to the Boston Herald, the website and software development company behind the Massachusetts Obamacare website, CGI, is asking for more money, claiming that they were behind the development of software that can help reduce health insurance application backlog. CGI, which has already been axed from the project, has been under fire for its poor handling of the website in general.

“Although CGI has not received payment since the summer of 2013, we have continued to take additional steps over and above our contract requirements to address issues and make progress,” wrote the company’s president, George Schindler, in a letter to Sarah Iselin, who is in charge of the overall Obamacare web process. CGI says that their “lite version” of the worker portal development is the reason that it now takes 33 minutes to enter paper applications, rather than 120 minutes.

CGI has claimed that the issues with their performance were not internal, but rather, the result of the state being unable to decide on what the website should look like, and a constant change in expectations regarding components and features. The state says the software design firm is just trying to “deflect blame.”

Massachusetts stopped paying CGI when they were $16 million into a $69 million contract. CGI was officially fired on March 17, with Gov. Deval Patrick labeling their work as “consistently substandard.” Part of the problem might be the inherent difficulty in pairing government bureaucracy with a streamlined website design and portal integration. “It’s not clear that building sophisticated, consumer-friendly websites is the core competency of state government,”said Caroline Pearson, VP of health-care reform at Avalere Health, a healthcare advisory counsel.

According to CNBC, the federal healthcare marketplace now works well for 36 states, but problems are persistent for several remaining states, especially among those who decided to build their own exchanges. Out of the four states CGI built an exchange for, three are not on the list of successfully functioning exchanges.

Hopefully, Obamacare websites around the country will be able to connect with better software development companies so that the focus of the system can be the healthcare it helps provide, rather than the glitches and delays it can’t seem to stop having.

Does your website need any help with portal development or better software? Let us know in the comments.

About: Ed