The major problem was that without a functioning financial management platform for the site, the document said, “the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized” by “significantly increasing” a number of risks, “potentially putting the entire health insurance industry at risk.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, lower income participants can receive advanced federal income tax credits to help offset the monthly cost of their health insurance premiums, a key feature in making private sector health insurance more affordable to these individuals and families.
The CMS “urgently requires” fixes to the federal computer system's “financial management platform,” the document says. The platform is needed to provide “stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program through administration or risk adjustment,” it continues. It's also needed “to support the reconciliation calculation and validation with the IRS.”
The site essentially has to be able to confirm that tax credits are in place to pay premiums so insurers know they will get paid by enrollees receiving subsidies.
The CMS considered more than a dozen companies, comparing their abilities against criteria set by its consultant, Mitre Corp., the document said. Accenture's federal division was “uniquely qualified” because of its success in building similar systems, such as the California state health insurance exchange site, the document said.
Accenture's federal contracting record is not blemish-free, however, including in California, where its site, though successful thus far, has had some glitches of its own.
Accenture Federal spokeswoman Joanne Veto declined to comment on the document.
Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn