"Entire Healthcare Reform Program" Jeopardized Unless Accenture Fixes Healthcare.gov By Mid-March

Tyler Durden's picture

A few days ago, when we reported that the existing main IT contractor behind Obamacare, CGI Federal, was kicked out and replaced by Accenture, we wondered the reason was that the government was unable to go through the "full and open competition process" before awarding them with a $91 million contract. Recall that "because of time constraints, CMS is awarding the Accenture contract on a sole-source basis." Naturally in a process plagued with mistake after mistake, awarding an express contract with no RFP or contract bidding, is merely the latest one.

So how does the Federal government explain this scramble to hand over the "sole-sourced" healthcare.gov IT contract (to a company made possible thanks to Enron) so late in the process? Simple: the usual mutually assured destruction tactic used so "effectively" in all other recent rushed decisions. As The Hill reports, unless Accenture finishes (and fixes) the back-end of the HealthCare.gov portal by mid-March, the healthcare law will be jeopardized, according to a procurement document posted on a federal website. The punchline: "It says insurers could be bankrupt and the entire healthcare industry threatened if the build out is not completed." In other words, a newly retained consulting company has less than three months to fix all the errors of coding by a different company, and make sure healthcare.gov is working properly... all 500 million lines of healthcare.gov's code?

Good luck.

The Hill has more:

The document says officials realized in December that the need to bring on Accenture is so urgent that there is no time to go through the “full and open competition process” before awarding them with a $91 million contract.


“There is limited time to build this functionality and failure to deliver…by mid-March 2014 will result in financial harm to the government,” the document says.


“If this functionality is not complete by mid-March 2014, the government could make erroneous payments to providers and insurers,” it continues. “Additionally, without a Financial Management platform that accounts for enrollments and associated program costs that integrates with the existing CMS Accounting platform, the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized.”


Many of those who have signed up for ObamaCare are eligible for federal subsidies, which the government pays directly to the insurers. The document says that failure to complete the project by mid-March can result in “inaccurate issuance of payments to health plans which could seriously put them at financial risk; potentially leading to their default and disrupting continued services and coverage to consumers.”

Wow: so some pretty dire consequences if an outside third party fails at its task? So what exactly will Accenture have to fix :

According to the document, the system is vulnerable to “inaccurate forecasting” of the risk mitigation programs in place to pay insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients with expensive bills, “potentially putting the entire health insurance industry at risk.”


By mid-March, Accenture must build a financial management platform that tracks eligibility and enrollment transactions, accounts for subsidy payments to insurance plans, “provides stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program,” and that integrates with existing CMS and IRS systems.


Accenture will also have to clean up some aspects of the project that CGI failed to complete, such as the notorious 834 enrollment transmissions to insurance companies that in October and November were transmitting inaccurate and garbled data.


In November, CMS deputy chief information officer Henry Chao told lawmakers that 30 percent of HealthCare.gov was still under construction, but the specifics and consequences remained murky.

Perhaps a better question is "what it won't have to fix" as it is absolutely impossible that in under three months the new consultancy will be able to fix all the errors in coding left over by the former contractor. Which is why we find it quite surprising that suddenly the fate of Obamacare and the "Entire Healthcare Reform Program" lies in the hands of a measly $91 million contract. Although, if the intention is to merely have a scapegoat for a failed ponzi scheme, then this is precisely the way one would go about it. And if indeed Obama drops the hammer on Accenture, well... we hear the name Andersen Consulting is available.

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_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

How can they fix something which is beyond repair? Stop this shit now!

Scarlett's picture

"America is not a deadbeat nation." --Barack Hussein Obama

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

"Did I do that?"
Barack Urkel Obama

AssFire's picture

We need to kill this program to see what's in it.

You didn't built that- goobermint did.

You could say they acted stupidly.

About the only correct line was: "You Lie!"

Brought to you from our ambiguously gay, mulatto economic hitman in chief.

Ignatius's picture

--->  Seahawks

--->  San Francisco

Ignatius's picture

--->  Denver

--->  New England

El Vaquero's picture

---> Bread and Circuses

---> Football! 

Colonel Klink's picture

Heeeey, that's a trick question.  I see what you did there.

El Vaquero's picture

I'm trying out my hand at being in the government by giving the appearence of there being a choice, when red team or green team will yield largely the same results.

Colonel Klink's picture

Agreed but since man does not live by football alone, the second line should have been EBT and Football.  At least that way both would have been the same answer.

Mmmmmmmmm red or green!  Christmas chili FTW!

El Vaquero's picture

Or perhaps potato chips and football. 


But I've gotta hop in the shower, then go meet a friend to help move his gun safe.  Looking inside that thing is a real distraction.

Colonel Klink's picture

I say EBT because that's todays modern day bread.

Be "safe" watch your toes.

Handful of Dust's picture

"No one saw this coming."

I might sign up for insurance if I finally get my $3,000 for "Thingamagjigs" and another free golf cart. Otherwise, I'm sticking to my red-blooded 'merican ways of eating red meat, intensely Dark Double Dutch Chocolate ice cream and a few donuts a day to balance the two prunes I eat each morning.

It the Epoch of Zero Interest Rates and Zero Responsibility [and zero accountability for that matter].

El Oregonian's picture

Accenture? Oh, from ENRON to ENDRUN.

mofreedom's picture

I voted for football though I will be making bakin powder biscuits (bread) this afternoon.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Change it to which team of oligarchs do you want to get richer...

---> Seahawks Team Owners Oligarchs

---> San Francisco Team Owners Oligarchs

---> Denver Team Owners Oligarchs

---> New England Team Owners Oligarchs

---> Don't Give A Shit

Ignatius's picture

People say a lot here at ZH and we all learn plenty.

Many here fancy themselves good at picking stocks.

Let's see if the ZH crowd can pick AFC/NFC champions.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Who the fuck cares about your AFC/NFC hype and propaganda for the sheep?!?

Ignatius's picture

Goddamn it, allow me ONE guilty pleasure.

Some like titty bars.  Fine.  i like football.

Manthong's picture

Whew! That’s a relief.

Ain’t gonna happen.

They cannot drum up, focus and manage the tens of millions of lines of code and the hundreds of thousands or more man hours necessary to fix that pig.

Bubble gum, duct tape and safety wire will not “get’r done”.

Of course, the fact that the populace is rejecting the Obamacare FUBAR (n.) in a wholesale manner is not obvious to the alleged and willfully ignorant PTB.

Whoa Dammit's picture

" insurers could be bankrupt and the entire healthcare industry threatened if the build out is not completed."

"Oh no it'll be ICUs in the streets !!! Must print emergency ward funds !!!"

--Hank Paulson Redoux

Nick Jihad's picture

Is "Redoux" pronounced "re-douche", by any chance?

Ignatius's picture

If you can handle 6 holes I'm impressed.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Maybe if if you stop watching a bunch of gays wearing tights and helmets (to look tough) playing for 30 seconds intervals with an egg-shaped ball and taking constant 3-5 minutes resting breaks, you also will be able to handle 6 holes.

Ignatius's picture

I'd like to know how long you'd stick with that theory in the Denver locker room.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Is Denver Locker Room a gay bar or Denver gay bathhouse/sauna?!? Just curious...

Actually it doesn't matter, a bar or sauna. I'm not interested in any of these gay hook up places.

Ignatius's picture

Don't tell us.  Go tell the players.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Go where?!?

Have you been smoking too much pot in your Denver?

KickIce's picture

That's why I prefer hockey, they wear stocking and sweaters.

Vendetta's picture

If you like your threesomes, you can keep your threesomes. But jamie and lloyd hve  to be part of it

Ignatius's picture

Not really what I meant. 

Nice try though.

Colonel Klink's picture

Only way to be sure is to watch football IN a titty bar.  Then see which you're watching longer.  Hard to get a lapdance from a TV.

knukles's picture

Do the titty bars come with or without nuts?

PR Guy's picture



This cartoon (When Big Projects Go Bad) is what happens when big consultancies like Accenture get involved in a project !



knukles's picture

Just think of all the humanly impossible man hours devoted to big consultancy interfacing with governmental agency meetings taking place!

There will be a special place in Hell for This!

Clint Liquor's picture

Kill it dead.

Oh, they will! After they have bankrupted the Health Insurance Companies.

As a past victim of Accenture's incompetence, I guarantee they won't even have the personnel together in three months.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

You wouldn't even be able to figure out what CGI did in three months.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Seen vs. unseen.

If it is running on a Microsoft platform, is it just another Broken Window?

Drifter's picture

They're gonna fix a 3 year $900 million clusterfuck in 2 months for $91 million?

Nope, no way.  It'll take 6 months to scope out the project, write the specs, and hire people.  6 months before 1 line of code is written.

Given the "mid march or bust" warning, it'll be bust, insurance companies won't get paid, they'll become insolvent, and even with a bailout zerocare goes down in flames, because the information side doesn't work either, nobody knows who has what coverage.

I thought zerocare might last a year, but it looks like 3 months now.

And Dems won't have to take any blame for it, all the blame goes on botched software.

So Obama spends a billion dollars on botched software to move to single payer.  A cheap price to pay to get where congress wouldn't go.

That had to be the plan all along.  Botch the software.  Pick an incompetent contractor (who would kick lots of that money back to Oama and Dems).

TBT or not TBT's picture

But the requirements documents are done and done. Law. So are the 10x volume of HHS regulations modifying and interpreting the law. And the thousands of specific waivers to friends issued by the Obama administration. It's all there in those tens of thousands of pages of legalese, so all they have to is translate into computer. Computers are smart now and they'll figure it out.

James-Morrison's picture

For $91 million you could hire an "integration" team (hackers) to install the "Target" virus on healthcare.gov/CMS and funnel the money to insurance companies.

Oh, I guess that is what healthcare.gov is already: a virus.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Oh the irony.

Have you seen my stapler.