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HIX, A Disaster Foretold, Needs Time

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, October 15, 2013

But returning to CHIME, CIOs in attendance also pointed out that the public, which is so annoyed by healthcare.gov's shaky start, also requires a whole lot of educating about the kaleidoscope of choices the Web site presents them. And all of them are aware of the ticking clock—they must be signed up for coverage by the end of December to avoid a penalty.

Remember that healthcare CIOs aren't exactly sitting around waiting for things to do. They are up to their armpits in Meaningful Use, ICD-10, HIPAA Omnibus, accountable care organizations and a raft of other mandates and transformations that won't wait.

One CIO who I won't name even confided to me that he had received an email about the new health information exchanges from the CEO of his hospital's health plan, but he had not bothered to open it yet. "If I see anything exciting, I'll send it to you," he said to me.

As my colleague John Commins pointed out recently, hospitals are becoming default advisors on health insurance exchanges. CIOs I talked to at CHIME confirmed that this is happening, to lesser or greater degrees depending on the hospital.

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3 comments on "HIX, A Disaster Foretold, Needs Time"


Frank Poggio (10/16/2013 at 7:41 PM)
Re: "don't expect them, or healthcare systems, or even Silicon Valley, to fix the health insurance exchange rollout, and neither should anyone else." Wow..so magnanimous! So if we should give them more time why won't DHSS give providers/vendors more time for Stage 2? And I still ask- why didn't DHSS put it's contractor HIX vendors thru the ONC Certification test process as they require of provider vendor systems. From my experience in guiding over forty vendor systems thru the ONC process there is no way any of the HIX systems would have passed. Drop down lists that don't work, repeated system outages, would have killed them in the first pass.

Tyco Brahe (10/16/2013 at 10:08 AM)
This moment-by-moment reporting is so useless. They will fix the portal and we will move forward. In a few years, we will look back at all this "disaster" talk and roll our eyes. When Medicare Part D was rolled out, it was a "disaster" of similar proportions, with seniors completely confused about the choices. Now, NO ONE even talks about it. This is a marathon, not a sprint. All the "disaster" talk is premature.

Jim Brunnemer (10/15/2013 at 4:53 PM)
It certainly looks like it will take time to get healthcare.gov fixed. I'd just note your comment on the timing to avoid the individual penalty is not the end of December......I believe they have said an individual would have to be signed up by mid-February to avoid the penalty as they need to have coverage in place effective before the end of March 2014 (so that really means 3/1/2014).