WASHINGTON—Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group, is walking away from its role overseeing the performance of HealthCare.gov, the website that sells insurance as part of the federal health law.
Optum was pressed into duty during the first chaotic rollout of the website, having worked as a contractor for other portions of the marketplace—such as the “Data Services Hub,” which handles some of the back-end queries of federal databases, and the EIDM, the tool responsible for the initial sign-in data for users.
Since then, most observers agree, the website is working better. The CMS has praised the website's capacity to handle more simultaneous users and its response time to user requests. But experts agree that the government and the next contractor will be to improve the back-end systems.
“A majority of the technical issues have already been resolved,” said Dan Schuyler, senior director of exchange technology with Leavitt Partners.
Schuyler says that the next contractor “will be steering a ship that is on an established and steady course.”
He believes a qualified next project manager for the website could include Accenture, Deloitte or Infosys.
Executives from Arches Health Plan, a Utah co-op, were a bit more muted in their praise of the current performance of HealthCare.gov. Ferris Taylor, the co-op's chief strategy officer, characterized it as "relatively smooth.”
“At a high level, not bad,” agreed Shaun Greene, Arches' COO.
A CMS official said the current contract ends July 31.