The Washington Post recently reported on the deadline issues surrounding healthcare exchanges. The deadline is set for Jan. 1, 2014 and the Post reports some states are unsure as to whether they will make it.
The exchange consists of a web-site where small business and individuals will be able to access insurance policy offerings and compare prices and coverage, among others.
The exchanges will also assist users in finding out if they are eligible for Medicaid coverage or federal subsidies. The Post indicated that in order for the exchanges to take place, states need income, residency and employment information.
“Computer systems in some states are old and may need substantial upgrading,” Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, said to the Post. “There is some doubt, about whether there is enough physical capacity in the IT systems world to get it all done in time.”
The Post says the government is taking a step-by-step approach to assist states in this process. In development is a federal data services hub to pull together information across such agencies as the Social Security Office and the Internal Revenue Service.
Reportedly, the Department of Health and Human Services has signed a $69 million, five-year contract to set a hub with Quality Software Services. The administration is also requiring the healthcare.gov website to include more information on health law and insurers.
The company has also won several other efforts for healthcare IT including a $13.3 million benefits-funded contract to provide Medicaid recovery audit contractor program services to Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and a contract for the same services to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The Post indicated that ahead of states in the process is upgrading computer systems and an assessment for readiness, which will take place January 2013.