United Health Unit Tapped to Repair Health-Law Website

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Zients Says Site Should Be Fixed by End of November.

Jeffrey Zients

The Obama administration said Friday it has named a unit of United Health Group Inc. UNH -0.12% to oversee repairs to its troubled health-insurance website and for the first time gave a specific estimate—the end of November—for when the site would be fixed.

The move followed a congressional hearing Thursday at which contractors for the site said each of their individual parts functioned but no one in the government made sure all of them worked together properly. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acted as its own systems integrator for the site—an unusual arrangement for such a complex project.

A spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the government has tapped Quality Software Services Inc. or QSSI, which is unit of United Health Group’s Optum, to act as the general contractor for what officials have described as a “tech surge” to fix the site.

Jeffrey Zients, a former Obama administration official, was named this week to oversee a team of tech experts and assess the problems with the HealthCare.gov website. He offered an initial assessment of the problems Friday, deeming them fixable.

In a conference call with reporters, Mr. Zients said, “We are confident by the end of November that HealthCare.gov will be running smoothly for the vast majority of users.” He said there are problems with the website’s speed and functioning.

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