Seeing What’s In It

by Dave Schuler on December 2, 2013

The phrase I used yesterday, “end-to-end”, is cropping up more frequently now in articles about the PPACA and, its primary portal. Here’s an example from a New York Times article:

The problem is that so-called back end systems, which are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers, still have not been fixed. And with coverage for many people scheduled to begin in just 30 days, insurers are worried the repairs may not be completed in time.

“Until the enrollment process is working from end to end, many consumers will not be able to enroll in coverage,” said Karen M. Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.

If I’d been in unimpeded control of the project, the first thing I’d’ve done is worked out the kinks in an end-to-end manual workflow. Then I’d’ve implemented a polished way of registering by phone that didn’t depend on the web-based system as the present phone system apparently does. Those could be done in parallel with the web development but how the web site could have been thought of us a substitute for efficient paperflow baffles me.

A new issue seems to have surfaced:

Insurers said they had received calls from consumers requesting insurance cards because they thought they had enrolled in a health plan through the federal website, but the insurers said they had not been notified.

“Somehow people are getting lost in the process,” the insurance executive said. “If they go to a doctor or a hospital and we have no record of them, that will be very upsetting to consumers.”

An interesting question will be who is responsible for the system’s mistakes? My guess: the consumers.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jan December 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

When people make mistakes the government punishes them. When government makes mistakes, Government takes on the untouchable immunity of a God, leaving the people to suck up the mistake, essentially punished for errors created by the government.

However, once we get past the splashy IT stages of failure, and the web site adequately functions, the next phase will be even more frustrating, IMO — the part where a person actually tries to access medical care, especially through doctors, specialists and services who can best address their medical conditions.

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