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Health Care Information Technology Projects

The health care.gov is a government initiated IT project under the ‘Obamacare’ Act.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services came up with the project. A group of 55 contractors developed the software that is concerned with offering health insurance services. The website provides the users (general population) with access to information about various types of insurance policies offered and opportunity to sign up. The health care.gov project cost was estimated of $500 million and was officially launched on the 1st of October, 2013 (Chamber & Associates, 2014).

The primary objective of health care.gov was to provide affordable health insurance policies and thus reduce the expenses attributed to health care. Measuring the return on investment on such projects is hard since the cost and benefits are not all in monetary value. Though the project failed, it considered the low income earners. To some point they benefited. The citizens had access to various insurance covers at affordable rates. The project also significantly reduces the risk of illegal or fake insurance policies as it is run by the government.

Unfortunately, the IT project is a failure. The health care.gov project was completed on time. However, the expenditure was above the estimated amount of $292 million US dollars (Chambers & Associates, 2014).  The projects exhibited traits that are stipulated as factors leading to failure by the Chaos report. The features involve lack of user involvement (Chaos Report, n.d). The project conducted few tests that did not apply the appropriate number of users. “CMS tested the system ability to handle tens of thousands of user….. the system crashed” (Chambers & Associates, 2014). It also changed the requirements and specifications. The government removed a feature in the program that enabled users to access the information without signing up first (Chambers & Associates, 2014). The enormous size of the codes was also a result of frequent changes. Additionally, the project lacked a fundamental condition for success: proper planning (Chaos Report, n.d). The tender was awarded late September 2011, however, the government was slow in providing specifications and missed almost all the deadlines (Chambers & Associates, 2014).

In conclusion, the health care.gov project was a great idea with an inspiring and well thought objective. However, it lacked proper guidelines and attributes to be successful.

 

References

Chambers & Associates. (2014). Case Study: Saving Obamacare. Retrieved 6 February 2015 from http://www.chambers.com.au/public_resources/case_study/obamacare/saving-obamacare-case-study.pdf

The Chaos Report (n.d). Retrieved 6 February 2015 from http://www.csus.edu/indiv/v/velianitis/161/ChaosReport.pdf

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