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. Erick Holmes

    Hopefully they can get it fixed so the Tea Party movement shuts the heck up. I'm tired of hearing about repealing and replacing Obamacare. They sound like a broken record.

    January 11, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. Mike

    100million? Ripped off by a foreign company. Made in the usa for USA

    January 11, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. Harold Read

    As CGI laughs all the way to the bank! Thanks ObamaBots! Canada deeply thanks you for stimulating their economy. The consultant change will not bring back the millions of policies that Obama promised, "You can keep your policy. Period", but it is great PR.
    When was supposed to be completed? October 2013?

    January 11, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. John Everyman

    How embarrassing is it that the government couldn't get a simple thing like a website right and that they have to spend so much money doing something that the private market could have easily done? What does this tell you about the state of our government? It's out of control!

    January 11, 2014 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. bstump

    Where is our refund of the original hundreds of millions of dollars we paid for this junk that doesn't work?

    January 11, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. bstump

    Where's the taxpayers' refund of the hundreds of millions of dollars these crooks stole from us by delivering a non-working website with major security flaws? They need to be held responsible...

    January 11, 2014 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. Rusty Krus

    Ok, so this will be "privatised". Will that satisfy the insane clown right wing posse? Nah....

    January 11, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. VJ

    Accenture is a better company than cgi...period.

    January 11, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. simplyput

    We're paying $90 Million to outsourcers to take care of healthcare?

    January 11, 2014 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  10. michael

    They are going to pay Accenture $45 Million? Seriously?

    First, Accenture is a spinoff of Arthur Anderson, who famously met their demise in the Enron scandal. The only surviving portion was Accenture. Sure, they work for Fortune 500 companies now, but they are no strangers to bilking their clients and the public at large.

    Second, if anyone believes that they are going to "fix" the site for $45 million then you are delusional. That price will skyrocket to 3-4 times that by this time next year. That's how Accenture operates.

    What was the Obama administration thinking?

    January 11, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  11. Scott

    So what happens to the company from Canada that screwed everything up from the beginning, do they have to return the money fro not delivering a good website?

    January 11, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  12. Jasmine

    Good thing Deloitte didn't get the contract... After the Mass. and Florida BLUNDERS, Deloitte is going downhill fast!!

    January 11, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  13. Frankieworks

    What a complete waste of money! This thing needs to be scrapped!

    January 11, 2014 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  14. Colleen

    Accenture? $45 million? Give me a break. Would love to see the project plan and see how they came up with that number.

    January 11, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Accenture, be gentle with our public money. I had the displeasure of having to work with Arthur Anderson when they had a contract with Ryder Integrated Logistics in the early 2000's. They cost a ton of money to do anything.

    I seriously doubt they will be able to pull this together any better than the last contractor. They are full of the big company blues, bureaucracy and red tape. They do spend money well though.

    Why don't they pull together teams from Google and other heavy hitters that know how to do distributed services like a champ? I just do not get it.

    January 11, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. blackhawkmom

    Taxpayer money should never be contract awarded outside the U.S.

    January 11, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. adamdocherty

    Interesting, the company I work for has deployed websites of similar complexity for around 30k... most of which goes to the $80 per hour programing fee. I would like to know how they come to the figure of $45 million, let alone the, what was it? 200 million or so they already spent???

    How are these fees broken down? Or do they have programers that are so good they should receive $80 000 per hour? So this is what the government spends on a website... imagine the foolish spending on something like the F35 fighter plane... what is that saying, "there is a sucker born every minute", I guess that is right when you think about the amount of tax payers getting ripped off.

    January 11, 2014 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. Bret

    So how much has this website cost the taxpayers so far? (shakes head in disbelief)

    January 11, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  19. Smitty

    So after rehiring the co that Oblameo said messed it up, he now gets a diff vendor. So once again we ALL are paying 3-5 TIMES what it should of cost. Sorry, I don't get it, how did this guy graduate college (supposedly) being so bad at basic math?????

    January 11, 2014 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  20. Neo

    Should've outsourced to India right from the beginning. Now, Accenture will get this thing done the right way in India by Indians. *wink*

    January 11, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Dave

    1 picture worth a 1000 words,

    Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate is executive at company that built Obamacare website.
    First Lady Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the no-bid contract to build the failed Obamacare website.
    Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of '85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website atHealthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. Arm of a Canadian company.
    Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.
    Toni Townes, '85, is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998.
    George Schindler, the president for U.S. And Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal's parent company, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract.
    On the government end, construction of the disastrous Healthcare.gov website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of longtime failed website-builder Kathleen Sebelius' Department of Health and Human Services.
    CGI Federal did not immediately return a request for comment.
    Let's see if we can connect the dots here ...
    1.) No American companies considered;
    2.) A Canadian company hired;
    3.) No Bid contract for $93 million;
    4.) Top executive at website-building firm went to school with Michelle Obama;
    5.) Previous experience building gun registry for Canadian government;
    6.) Fired by Canadian Government for overruns that cost Canada $100 million;
    4.) Overruns for Obamacare enrollment website now costing U.S. $678 million, and still going up.
    Does this bother anybody else besides me? And this is just one of their corrupt enterprises.

    January 11, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  22. Bret

    Found the answer to my own question!

    319 million already spent, 677 million obligated. (numbers obtained from testimonial given in december at capital hill).

    How is that even POSSIBLE??? I know its a complex site that has to pull info from a lot of sources, but there's no way the costs should anywhere even close to that neighborhood!

    Maybe a congressional oversight committee should be formed to see what kind of "bonuses" the top dogs at these consulting firms are getting thanks to our tax money...

    January 11, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  23. Jay D

    Accenture, also known as Arthur Anderson Consulting, or the guys in bed with Enron. Accenture's business model is not much better than CGI's. They routinely shove consultants in at exorbitant prices looking for job security rather getting the job done. Technology is reaching a tipping point, the final tipping point in human evolution. It is no longer necessary to spend ridiculous amounts of money to implement solutions that should be simplistic and elegant. Accenture is in bed with hospitals and insurance companies, and will continue to lag on key areas of necessary development to create a long term healthcare initiative that results in the better well being of the American people.

    January 11, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Mary smith

    A few things to know about this company Accenture:
    1. Those folks that are currently employed in the US will probably lose their jobs
    2. Accenture will ship those jobs overseas to India
    3. How safe will you be if you apply without knowing all your personal data is being handled by someone in India?

    Recently went through this at my company, approx 30% reduction in employees with American jobs now being held by India.

    January 11, 2014 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. GumDrop

    Going from CGI to Accenture is like going from bad to worse.

    January 11, 2014 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
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