Maryland fires health insurance exchanges contractor

Maryland's health insurance exchanges website will experience a huge renovation after the enrollment deadline occurs.

Recently, there have been multiple reports that states with individual health insurance exchange websites are experiencing more glitches than We discussed Massachusetts' Health Connector issues and now, Maryland is considering redoing its entire exchanges website after the March 31, 2014 enrollment deadline.

When the state hired Noridian Healthcare Solutions more than two years ago, it was "impressed by the small company's 'successful track record' processing claims and handling administrative services with Medicaid and Medicare programs," the Washington Post reported.

However, since the October launch, Maryland is well behind its goal of 260,000 registered residents — only 33,251 Marylanders have signed up in February.

The website has only been up for about four months, but the state decided to end the $193 million contract with Noridian. The state plans on suing the health IT provider for damages, according to the Baltimore Sun. Maryland will hire Noridian subcontractor Optum/QSSI to completely change the website's interface. Optum has been a part of Maryland's health insurance exchange network for two months.

Noridian CEO Tom McGraw believes they have been compliant every step of the way, so they are in the midst of negotiating its termination package and have received about $65 for its services.

"Throughout the past four months, Noridian has complied with its contractual obligations under tremendous pressure and constant changes by the state," he said in a statement.

In the meantime, Maryland is working on making the most of the current health insurance website, one that Governor Martin O'Malley said would be "among the best in the country. Now, the Free State officials estimate that they will spend at least $33 million to renovate the website this year.

This is why it is so important to complete thorough research before partnering with any software provider. Healthcare coding and consulting services can help other communities identify training programs and reputable health IT companies.

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