Healthcare Business News

Cover Oregon CIO out as state extends sign-up deadline

By John N. Frank
Posted: April 3, 2014 - 3:30 pm ET

A fourth official of Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, has resigned as the state extends to April 30 the deadline for people to sign up for coverage through the site.

Cover Oregon Chief Information Officer Aaron Karjala resigned Monday.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber last month had called for replacing Karjala and COO Triz delaRosa when he released a report on the troubles the exchange had faced.

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Dr. Bruce Goldberg, who served as interim director of Cover Oregon, had resigned as director of the Oregon Health Authority, the governor said last month when he also called for removal of Karjala and delaRosa.

Oregon's website has been plagued with problems. In January, Kitzhaber hired consulting firm First Data Corp. to investigate. Its report found systemic management problems, poor communication, shoddy contracting, and a lack of clear consensus on who was accountable for making sure the complex project succeeded. Beyond the state's internal troubles, the report also found problems with its lead contractor, Oracle Corp. Kitzhaber suggested the state is likely to sue Oracle. Oracle had no comment at the time.

Carolyn Lawson, the former CIO of the exchange who was forced out in December, has threatened to sue the state for what she terms a cover-up to deflect criticism from state officials and blame her and Oracle for the exchange's troubles.

Follow on John N. Frank on Twitter: @MHJFrank

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