Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Back-ground mainframe processing, and communications among players, for Obamacare has many problems because of lack of mature personnel
It’s becoming ever more apparent that the treatment of older mainframe professionals in the period following Y2K, encouraging early retirement and buyouts and offering at best a questionable mechanism of temporary W2 assignments in various cities (in specific areas like MMIS) has damaged the workforce available to get the processing behind Obamacare right. The mature talent, used to the full systems development life cycle and the pains of implementation, is no longer around.
On Monday, the New York Times, in an article by Robert Pear and Reed Allison, reported “Insurers claim health website is still flawed; White House praises software upgrade”, link here. The article has a link to a mult-media Visio-style systems flowchart showing how the processing among exchanges, insurance companies, the federal government, and individuals and employers is supposed to work. The chart reminds me of the overview of the “Combined A&B Medicare System”, or “CABCO”, that seven Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans tried to develop in Dallas, TX in the early 1980s but failed because of turf bickering. I was employed almost three years in this effort. The processing was broken into “subsystems” in a dogmatic way with development software from “Pride-Logik”. Curiously, the management then, although of retirement age now, could have been of help in developing the new system, due to experience. Did political turf battles hinder this system?
The Washington Post reports Tuesday morning, in a story by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin, “HealthCare.gov makes frequent enrollment errors; up to one-third possibly affected; Some people may not have the coverage they expected”, link here.
The entire workflow is supposed include a daily “reconciliation” which sounds like a mainframe batch job that would send xml files for reports to all the various components (including the insurance companies) linked in the system for daily corrective action.