Maryland Votes To Adopt CT Health Exchange System

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From Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant reports:

The board overseeing the Maryland health exchange voted unanimously Tuesday evening to scrap its dysfunctional website and adopt software developed by Deloitte Consulting and used by the more successful health exchange in Connecticut.

The software is free for Maryland to use but Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein will negotiate an emergency $40 million to $50 million contract with the software company to develop the site, and Isabel FitzGerald, secretary of the state’s Department of Information Technology, who stepped in to help fix the exchange, will oversee the project.

The move comes a day after open enrollment ended and makes Maryland the first state with a troubled website to switch to something leaders hope will prove more effective.

“The Health Exchange Board selected a partner with a proven track record to upgrade our website using a platform that has an established record of success,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement. “We’re confident that this partner will have the website upgraded by the time the next open enrollment period begins in November.”

Access Health CT’s website has had a few glitches since enrollment opened Oct. 1 but has received national recognition for running well compared with those in many other states.

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said Tuesday that, in addition to the code that Maryland will use, he believes his exchange has services to offer Maryland and other states to emulate the success of Connecticut’s exchange.

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About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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