Burwell Revamps Management Structure of HealthCare.Gov
June 23, 2014 in News
According to Modern Healthcare, the move to create the new positions aims to address some of the early criticisms about the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance exchange website, such as the lack of clear accountability for preparing for the website launch (Tahir, Modern Healthcare, 6/20).
In December 2013, HHS issued a progress and performance report, which concluded that “inadequate management oversight and coordination among technical teams prevented real-time decision making and efficient responses to address the issues with the site” (iHealthBeat, 12/2/13).
New Management Structure
According to the Times, the personnel announcements are the “first significant action” by Burwell since she officially became HHS secretary earlier this month.
Burwell announced that effective July 10, former UnitedHealth Group executive Andrew Slavitt will assume the role of CMS principal deputy administrator and help coordinate operations and policy between Medicaid, Medicare and the federal exchange, among other tasks.
As vice president of UnitedHealth’s subsidiary Optum, Slavitt helped repair Healthcare.gov after technical issues initially hampered enrollment (New York Times, 6/20). Optum also helped build a federal data hub to help verify exchange applicants’ personal information, which was one of the only parts of the website that worked when it launched, AP/U-T San Diego reports (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/U-T San Diego, 6/20).
Burwell also announced plans to hire a CEO — who would report directly to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner “with a dotted line” to Burwell — and a chief technology officer specifically tasked with overseeing Healthcare.gov (HHS release, 6/20).
Meanwhile, HHS announced that Kurt DelBene, a former Microsoft executive who was hired to assist and advise the department on fixing HealthCare.gov, will be leaving at the end of this month (Modern Healthcare, 6/20).