I recently documented the failings of the Oregon ACA website. Now its Maryland’s turn. Maryland has commissioned an audit so we should get a good inside look. But the audit is not scheduled to be done until the summertime. We do know a lot about this failure already. According to documents from the IV&V contractor obtained by the Washington Post, these problems existed early in the project:
- Insufficient State staffing
- Insufficient time for software development
- Lack of a detailed project plan
- Inefficient communications
- Lack of sufficient time for regression and system testing
- Lack of a comprehensive QA and testing plan
The prime contractor, Noridian, has been terminated. A substantial amount of their fees has been withheld by the state.
There was also significant issues between Noridian and one of their subcontractors, EngagePoint. Interestingly, I read where Noridian hired EngagePoint since it had no real ability to develop the exchange. I don’t know why Maryland awarded a contract to a company that had to quickly hire a subcontractor to do the work.
Most recently, Maryland decided to scrap the $125M effort and adopt the same technology used in Connecticut. Adopting the CT exchange technology is expected to cost an additional $50M. It makes me wonder why some states didn’t just do join together in the first place. Or staged a phased implementation so mistakes could be corrected before a nationwide launch.