Health reform implementation

CMS: We’re still improving

Federal health officials announced new technical improvements to on the same day that Time magazine published a piece about the site’s chaotic launch last fall.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it has streamlined the account creation process, added more help at various steps of the enrollment process and allow consumers to report life changes — like marriage — that might impact their status.

{mosads}CMS Communications Director Julie Bataille also called attention to efforts to strengthen the site’s customer service with additional training and new Spanish-speaking representatives.

“The tech team continues to monitor system performance in real time, 24/7 and take steps to improve the user experience,” Bataille wrote in a blog post.

Disclosures about the site’s technical operations have slowed since experts stabilized late last year.

The Obama administration is now rounding the corner into the final month of ObamaCare enrollment, when it hopes to add millions more sign-ups to the private marketplaces.

Time reported Thursday that both CMS and the White House failed to anticipate the scope of problems that would face on Oct. 1.

The Medicare agency was “so uncoordinated” that month, wrote healthcare journalist Stephen Brill, that it created three separate war rooms to deal with the mess.

There was also widespread confusion within the agency about how many users the site could handle in its initial days online, a fact that would have been clearer had officials created a technical “dashboard” to monitor site operations.

Tags Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services United States Department of Health and Human Services

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