HHS moves to shore up HealthCare.gov

June 23, 2014 in Medical Technology

In one of her first orders of business as new Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell has made management changes aimed at ensuring that HealthCare.gov is robust enough to handle the upcoming open enrollment period.

[See also: What happened to Healthcare.gov?]

Chief among them, the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services will put in place a principal deputy administrator for agency-wide policy and operational program coordination, according to HHS.

Additionally, CMS will also hire a marketplace chief executive officer and is actively recruiting a chief technology officer for the federal insurance exchange.

[See also: Burwell confirmed as HHS secretary]

“These actions will bolster our team and further instill ongoing accountability for reaching milestones, measuring results and delivering results for the American people,” said Burwell, in a press statement. “Under this new structure, we bring additional operational and technological fire power and have a clear single point of contact in the Marketplace CEO to streamline decision-making.”

Andy Slavitt will sign on to CMS as principal deputy administrator, overseeing day-to-day agency program operations. He has more than two decades’ experience in the private sector, most recently at Optum. He was also part of the “surge” to fix the ailing website in late 2013.

In this new role, Slavitt will work toward policy and operational coordination for the agency’s Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and Marketplace initiatives; combatting healthcare fraud; reforming healthcare delivery and improving health outcomes.

“Andy’s breadth of experience throughout the healthcare sector makes him the right person for this role, and I am excited for our partnership across all of the CMS programs,” said Burwell. “He will focus on managing day-to-day operational issues across all of our programs and be a key part of our leadership team.”

CMS is also recruiting for two new positions:

  • A permanent CEO with responsibility and accountability for leading HealthCare.gov, who will manage relationships with state marketplaces and run the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, which regulates health insurance at the federal level.
  • A new CTO who will report to that CEO and work closely with the deputy chief operating officer and Office of Information Services within CMS in order to ensure proper alignment of project milestones and deliverables.

Burwell and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner say they believe these steps will build on the implementation progress to date and best position CMS and HHS to carry out their mission of providing access to health coverage.

“Secretary Burwell and I are excited to welcome Andy to our team and work in partnership to improve access to healthcare and improve the quality of care for so many Americans,” said Tavenner in a press statement. “He brings a wealth of experience to strengthen our team and is ready to hit the ground running.”

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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/hhs-moves-shore-healthcaregov

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