HIX, A Disaster Foretold, Needs Time
It's Not Like Amazon
A hospital cannot and will not be expected to provide the same analysis that the federal data hub will, processing a prospective health plan member's income and producing expected tax credits. That will still require the federal and state HIX systems which have performed poorly so far.
A few pundits last week took issue with the way healthcare.gov requires all visitors to create accounts before they can receive such information, but I don't see any way around it. It's true that you can anonymously price-compare on Amazon and lots of other popular Web sites, but those sites do not require your tax information to calculate a price. By statute, healthcare.gov has to work this way.
So while everyone is throwing bricks at the Beltway Bandits who now scramble madly to fix and scale up the federal and state sites, let's not forget that the master architect of this information system was Congress, and the people who elected its members.
Technology is usually best designed by some megalomaniac who gets a good idea and pushes it through over the objections of investors and even the public because of some overarching vision of what it can be. Technology is not usually designed well by committees of any kind.
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