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

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"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. Karen

    Isn't Accenture the new name Arthur Anderson gave itself after the Enron debacle?

    January 11, 2014 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. Mr. M

    LOL!!! Cha-Ching! Oops! There goes another $90-million! And we all know that will blossom to $270-mill before all is done. Hell, the last one cost us $660-million, and all we got was a lousy web-site.

    The question is, why doesn't CGI fit the bill? Why are we the taxpayers having to pay for CGI's screw-ups, and pay for this who-the-hell-knows-what, come from nowhere "Accenture!" Who the hell came-up with that name? Sounds like something out of a bad movie script.

    It is a bad movie script. Our entire political system is nothing but a corrupt-to-the-core gang of, con-artists, thieves and murderers.

    And speaking of thieves and CGI, whatever happened to Toni Towns-Wilkes, the Sr.VP, for CGI, and close personal friend of the Obama's? Is she off their Christmas list for fleecing the American people out of $660-million dollars, for a web-site that doesn't work? Or was that her with the Obama's in Hawaii, laughing it up at our expense?

    January 11, 2014 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. Jus

    I think it's rather interesting that so many people are upset by Target being hacked when no one realizes how vulnerable personal information is on ACA's web site, especially with all of the problems it's having.

    January 11, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. JackBeHumble

    I hope the new contract holder takes it seriously. It is a high visibility thing. People notice when there are problems with the website. 😀

    January 11, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. JACOB

    Uh Cheryl, have you ever heard of capacity planning? It's what you do before anything goes live so things don't go sideways.

    January 11, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. Ken

    I work in a company that has had a 20+ year relationship with Accenture (and it's older incarnations as Andersen Consulting IT). I can tell you how Accenture will operate. Much of the coding work will be outsourced to personnel in that coding locations in SE Asia. Now the people who do that work are good at programming. But they literally do what they are told. If they are told to do "X" to a program they will do so. They will not think about how "X" impacts other operations in the system as they weren't told to consider that. They work, they do, they don't think ahead for your system. That's your job.

    SO, we will not have politicians and civil servants telling a group of people in SE Asia how to change the Health Care site. And given how the pols and civils don't think ahead, and the coders do just that, not thinking thank you .. well I predict some interesting times ahead for the Healthcare site. Very interesting.

    January 11, 2014 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. John

    Accenture was also granted huge contracts after 9/11 coincidence? I think not. The ACA is an extension of the NSA. Thanks Obama.

    January 11, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  8. srcactus

    Good company should be capable of doing a good job but will the Washington egos listen to experience or opt for politics?

    January 11, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. dnokc

    Until the administration figures out what it is, that they wish them to do, the price will continue to rise.

    January 11, 2014 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Atul C

    Where is 5 day period with multiple open bidding?

    January 11, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Greenspam

    Great. Republicans now want to scrutinize Accenture and all GOP governors threaten to withdraw contracts from Accenture unless Obamacare website is screwed up. LOL

    January 11, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. Jessica

    Wonderful news... Andersen Consulting and Accenture, the same company linked to the Enron scandal that filed for bankruptcy, fraud, and incompetence that lost American taxpayers billions of dollars and thousnads of jobs! Accenture based in Ireland and with its Bermuda headquarters, Accenture is now being investigated for off-shore tax invasion and more of the same American corporate scams.

    Great job White House... and thanks for choosing another foreign company to screw up Obamacare just like CGI based in Canada!

    January 11, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Buckeye Jim

    First aCanadian company, now an Irish. Why not an American company?

    January 11, 2014 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Guest

    I'm not sure if "gets" is really the right wording...

    January 11, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    One crap to another

    January 11, 2014 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. consulting big B

    Accenture is not the largest consulting firm in the world. PWC and Deloitte have higher revenues.

    January 11, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. Crystal

    I didn't think they would actually fire them. The pressure must have really been intense.

    January 11, 2014 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. WhackyWaco

    Oh Great! Now a consulting company will tell taxpayers that Obamacare is screwed up.

    January 11, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. GregL

    Wow, Obama whole tenure has led to nothing but misery and pain for Americans. FDR had it rough as President, but at least he knew what true emergency legislation meant and how to implement it for our greater good. Obama is just tryng to crash our nation and his only answer to ever bad act of leislation he tries to slam onto our country is "tack the cost on to the end, add it to the debt and deficit. Jeepers, any idiot can do that. But real legislation and real progress takes a real man with out a personal agenda hell bent on makng American life as hard as possible on the people.

    January 11, 2014 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  20. tarura

    Why is the flag half staff in the picture – is Obamacare dead?

    January 11, 2014 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. no

    death has seen its victim.

    January 11, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. izzie

    Uhm isnt this company the one that was spun off after the debacle with Enron? Yep, it was? Nice move White House. LMAO.

    January 11, 2014 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. gstlab3

    I think the whole thing smells of corruption and criminal activity at the highest levels of government.,including the White House and the so called DOJ is just as dirty if you ask me.
    The media is bought and paid for by the same people running our so called free society through bogus central fiat currencey banking and corporate Ologarchy all controlled centrally by a few very secrete and powefull men.

    January 11, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Colt Francis

    I'm sure this has nothing to do with Barack Obama being the #1 recipient of Accenture political donations in 2012. Or that Accenture sublet the space for Barack Obama's reelection campaign HQ. Or that Barack Obama's campaign head data scientist came from Accenture. Or that a significant portion of Accenture's upper management in Chicago were high dollar fund raisers for his 2012 campaign.

    I'm sure that big business hasn't bought and paid for access on the Democrat side because you know, that would be totally wrong.

    January 11, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. rosestool

    now even gov jobs went to mumbai

    January 11, 2014 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
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