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Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Failure of Information Technology

Hospitals, providers and patients are increasingly frustrated with the affordable care act.  The project management for the ACA was seemingly run by a Whitehouse intern.

Implementation guidelines, mandates and dates for the Affordable Care Act, seemingly were set arbitrarily with little or no assessment for success or failure.

In California where the ACA was immediately accepted and optimistically initiated with its own brand of Health Benefit Exchange, name aptly "Covered California" there were enormous problems with the web site and a crushing overload of telephone registration services.

I can attest to these challenges as I had the responsibilty to enroll a member of my family.

The next axe falling is the Small Business Benefit Exchange where employers shop for employee policies. The computer process again limped along and numerous insurance agencies reverted to paper enrollment forms, a seemingly obsolete method of doing business, which however often is superior to IT. Failure of digital systems often creates more expense than doing it right the first time with proven methods.  In a self-directed study of forms on computer vs hand written, with check off boxes we demonstrated the hand method to be faster and more accurate.

What is most frightening is that most of our support systems are becoming digital. If a particular process or enrollment does not fit into the pre-determined matrix it creates a bottleneck and the system stops.

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