By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 05/16/14 10:38 AM EDT
The company Serco is firing back at accusations that it is cheating the government by running an ObamaCare processing center where employees do little work.
A spokesman for Serco said its workload under the $1.25 billion contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ebbs and flows.
The British company has come under fire from Sens. Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Healthcare: Medicare fight looms on Capitol Hill Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika Senate Dems accuse GOP of walking away from Zika deal MORE (R-Mo.) and Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico pressure builds; Big tariff vote Wednesday Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (R-Tenn.) after news reports from St. Louis’s KMOV alleged the firm was paying workers at its Wentzville, Mo., processing facility to essentially sit around.
Serco says between the time HealthCare.gov launched last October and late this April, its workers have processed more than 1 million documents and made 1.4 million outbound calls to ObamaCare applicants.
Hill acknowledged part of the reason why there may have been a lighter workload in the past could be attributed to the slow enrollment start for the Affordable Care Act, but he said the facility's workload spiked in the final enrollment surge.
Hill said Serco expects to be busy when the new enrollment period begins this October and as it starts other projects. He would not elaborate on what those projects are.
Blunt and Alexander wrote the CMS to investigate the allegations Serco employees were being paid to do little work and asked the agency to respond by May 30.
The agency says it has monitored the workload of the 660 people employed at the Wentzville facility and is “confident that the balance is appropriate.”