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Massachusetts to dump health website contractor

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm •  Published: March 17, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts planned to cut ties with the contractor for its hobbled health care insurance website, state officials said Monday.

CGI Group, a Montreal-based information technology firm, was also the lead contractor on the troubled federal health care website. The state hired the company last year to facilitate the state's transition from its first-in-the-nation universal health insurance program to the new requirements in the federal Affordable Care Act.

"We have made the decision that we are parting ways with CGI," said Sarah Iselin, a health care executive who was hired by Gov. Deval Patrick to oversee a fix for the website.

Iselin told a meeting of the board of directors of the state's health connector that negotiations had begun with CGI on a transition, but it was not immediately clear when the state contract would formally end and how much the company would ultimately be paid.

Officials said last month the state had paid about $15 million of CGI's original $69 million contract slated to run through September.

"CGI has worked tirelessly to deliver a health insurance exchange for the residents of Massachusetts. We will work with the Commonwealth to ensure a smooth transition to the next phase of exchange deployment, allowing for the best use of system capabilities already in place," the company said in a statement Monday.

Iselin said the state was leaning toward hiring a new vendor to fix the website, but added her team had ruled out a complete rebuild of the current site, a "start from scratch" option that was deemed unworkable.

Another possible solution, the purchase of technology from states with smoothly functioning insurance sites, was shaping up as a less viable option because of the complexity of the Massachusetts system, she added.

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