White House awards Accenture HealthCare.gov contract
January 11th, 2014
07:59 PM ET
11 months ago

White House awards Accenture HealthCare.gov contract

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration has tapped the world's largest consulting firm to take over its beleaguered Obamacare website.

Accenture, a consulting and technology services company with 281,000 employees and $28.6 billion in revenue, won the one-year contract to continue fixing HealthCare.gov, the online health insurance marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services made the announcement Saturday.


"As CMS moves forward in our efforts to help consumers access quality, affordable health coverage, we have selected Accenture to become the lead contractor for the HealthCare.gov portal and to prepare for next year’s open enrollment period. We are pleased that more than 1.1 million consumers already have enrolled in a private plan in the federal Marketplace thanks to existing efforts and look forward to working with all of our contract partners to ensure a smooth transition of this work," the agency said in a statement.

As lead contractor, the company will be in charge of not only improving the current site, but also preparing it for open enrollment next fall. The task includes 24/7 customer support, eligibility and enrollment functions, and transmitting the personal data in enrollment forms.

“We are honored to be part of the team of technology and healthcare companies and government professionals helping the federal government meet the healthcare coverage needs of its citizens,” said David Moskovitz, the chief executive of Accenture's federal services. “Accenture will bring deep healthcare industry insight as well as proven experience building large-scale, public-facing websites to continue improving HealthCare.gov."

CMS will pay Accenture $45 million for the initial phase of the contract. The two sides are still defining the extent of Accenture's work, and a final value for the contract will be decided then.

Obamacare's site launched on October 1, 2013, to disastrous reviews, as users experienced major problems accessing the site, creating profiles and selecting insurance plans.

The White House later fired the original contractor, CGI Federal, and it cut ties with the company Friday, choosing not to renew its contract.

CGI's original contract for HealthCare.gov was for two years and valued at nearly $100 million.

During testimony before Congress in October, CGI Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell denied any wrongdoing by her company, telling legislators that it was not "unusual to discover problems" in a system with so many concurrent users that would need to be addressed after going live.

Fixes since have resulted in improved performance of HealthCare.gov. At the end of 2013, more than 2 million people had signed up for coverage, with about half enrolling through the federal marketplace, officials said.

–CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.


Filed under: Obamacare • White House
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. warpwiz

    Accenture employs thousands of workers – in INDIA and CHINA that will likely perform the technology and customer service duties. In addition to being taken on the tax benefits, few Americans will see the benefit of a job from healthcare.gov. So disappointing from a Democratic administration

    January 12, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. J

    Obama the biggest dictator and piece of crap in the U.S history.

    January 12, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. don in albuquerque

    @warpiz-and at least for a couple of decades IRS has employed people in India to do audits. Your point?

    January 12, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. luvUamerica

    I am not sure how it will work. Remotely working on sites based here in the US has it's risks. Just look at Target's processing system. Target has ALL of it's employee's in India. About 2000 of them in Bangalore, running all of their technical aspects of their business. They do not have a single store in India. I think large and continuous remote access to both their internal systems and websites created holes for hackers to get in and steal all of their credit card database. To steal such a large amount of data, they would have had to do it over a period of time. Further there probably was inside help in accessing Target data.

    I hope companies like Accenture takes this into account.

    January 12, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. gbergeron13

    For those who think Accenture is a slam dunk, Google the following accenture nhs contract failure
    This was their foray into overhauling the UK's Health Care System back a few years.

    January 12, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Mike

    Gov't cant run a lemonade stand with going into debt or cost over runs... has anyone been held accountable?

    January 12, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. gbergeron13

    For those of you who think Accenture is a slam dunk, Google: Accenture nhs contract failure
    This was their foray into the overhaul of UK's National healthcare System.

    January 12, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. RickN

    As an IT project manager here are my thoughts about what went wrong:
    1. Unrealistic expectations of how long it would take to design, implement and test the web site before going live.
    2. Lack of anyone with the courage to tell the administration that the timeframe was unrealistic.
    3. Changing requirements adds time. The details of the law were being written in parallel with the website's design. Again, no courage on those managing its implementation to be open and honest that requirements have to be frozen to allow sufficient time to test and fix the problems found during testing.
    4. There are no magic fixes. It will take time to figure out the root cause of the many problems, time to design fixes and time to test the fixes and follow up thereafter.

    warpwiz, your statement about India and China is misleading. There are Accenture employees in the U.S., plenty of them. Those in India work on issues while the rest of us are sleeping so this enables a 24 hour day effort.

    January 12, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. Fish

    I simply hoping to move on to more serious matters this issue has dominated for too long. The nation is stagnating with government barely functioning because the focus has been on this issue. It's bad enough to have a do-nothing Congress but a White House preoccupied with selling health insurance is ridiculous!!!

    January 12, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Tony

    Outsourcing when many Americans are out of work. Brilliant move.

    January 12, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  11. Luda cris

    Maybe we can get Accenture to work on GetAmericansBackToWork.gov next? Seems like something the fools in DC would go for.

    January 12, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  12. Michael

    This is not good news for Obamacare. This same company came into one of the largest medical systems in California to "help it save money." The exact opposite has been accomplished. Everything Accenture has touched or changed, now COSTS MORE! The changes did nothing to save money, but the massive layoffs the eventually occurred I'm sure made the bottom line look better. The only people that will come away saving (or I should say MAKING money) will be Accenture. At least that's the way is worked in Northern California.

    January 12, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Tired of Nonsense

    The government needs to publish the Accenture contract so we can all keep tabs on the deliverables...it is our money that is paying the bill. (All the comments on this msg board re: offshore coding, etc. are spot on.) And let's also see the CGI contract; they should be sued to recover costs! Firing them is NOT enough. Any business (with any hope of continued existence) would not let CGI walk away with all that cash...and our government should not either!

    January 12, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. mickmartn

    I am having a really good laugh, Every anti-universal health care comment are EXACTLY the same comments that were said 65 years ago when Bevin brought in the NHS in the UK. Read and learn history before spouting your tripe, it is word for word identical.
    The Health Care would destroy the UK nation if it was brought in... Well 65 years later and it is the most cherished and loved aspect of all British Society. Any politician who mucks with it – looses at the next election. Something the current con-dem 'the nation' lot did not remember and they will be chucked to oblivion for what they have tried to do.
    Health Care for All is a basic human RIGHT.
    Odd that yanks do not think twice about dropping their 6 year old child off at the local primary school for 12 years of 'day care'. Just over 50 years ago, all children had to pay to attend or for books or other back door charges – depending on where the child went to primary school.
    Today – it is taken for granted, state education is FREE.

    If you do not like the health care provided options, simply buy additional health care insurance.
    In the UK, we have the NHS that is there for ALL – with not a penny paid or asked for at point of service.
    But there is still a market for private health care insurance as some people want a private room with a view or something else rather trivial they are willing to pay for to appear better than the rest. Fact is, those who have Money and are dictating health care policy to the rest of the usa, can afford their own private live in doctor. lol

    January 12, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Bored introvert

    I'm glad Accenture got the contract rather than IBM.

    January 12, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. don in albuquerque

    @mickmartin-Of course the UK gave up trying to control the planet, ergo more funds were available to actually serve the people. We are still hell bent on world domination. Talk about The Evil Empire. We don't have to look far to find it. You, sir, or madame are spot on.

    January 12, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Gunderson

    Well Lessee see,
    The Health Care Web Site was supposed to be ready to hit the ground running the first of October, 2013. It is now nearly the middle of January 2014. Well the Liberal's think it was a great idea. So folks, if you think Health Care is expensive now, just wait until it is free. Of course you can't prove that until the Web Site is up and running.

    January 12, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. AccentureSpokesman

    Outsourcing the IT work would have happened regardless. Either it was outsourced to the Canadians who outsourced to India (CGI), Americans who outsourced it to India (Xerox/IBM/EDS) or Indians who outsourced to India (Accenture). Take your pick!

    January 12, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. edpeters101

    Will Congress ever pass comprehensive legislation that allows our Government to sign-up companies to do Government work that gives us a better chance of success? HAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAAHAAH

    January 12, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Phil T. Listener

    Another contractor who will make millions off of the taxpayers in the U.S. while sending the work off to India. Sure Accenture has employees in the U.S., but those will be the high paid managers and principals and the much lower paid young ones right out of college interfacing with govt. employees regarding requirements and specifications. Most of the coding along with the 24/7 "customer support" most likely will be done by the relatively low paid workers in India.

    A travesty. Keep American workers employed with our tax dollars. It might cost more, but those tax dollars will be spent well and help our economy.

    January 12, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Curious George

    Accenture? Really? Thats the India Division. They don't even pay taxes in US.

    January 12, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Reasonable Descent

    Is that a 'flush' sound that I hear?

    January 12, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Sherry A.

    Accenture employs overseas workers....I cannot believe the Obama Admin has went along with this.....

    January 12, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. kayless

    Why did this go to a company who is going to outsource all the work to countries who will not respect HIPPA? This entire project should have remained in America with American jobs. No one researched this company, this is a train wreck waiting to happen.

    January 12, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Malory Archer

    Michael

    This is not good news for Obamacare. This same company came into one of the largest medical systems in California to "help it save money." The exact opposite has been accomplished. Everything Accenture has touched or changed, now COSTS MORE! The changes did nothing to save money, but the massive layoffs the eventually occurred I'm sure made the bottom line look better. The only people that will come away saving (or I should say MAKING money) will be Accenture. At least that's the way is worked in Northern California.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What you describe is the very nature of ALL government contracts. So much of government has been contracted out that there's nobody left on the inside who knows what's going on! Meanwhile the $$$ just flows out the door and into the pockets of a very few at the top. IMO the Fed should hire REAL IT professionals – boots on the ground Americans who know how to write code, and put them at the high end of the GS employee system where they aren't paid exorbitant salaries, but are fairly compensated and where they enjoy job security – to build and maintain the system, and hold them accountable.

    January 12, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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