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State pursues Deloitte in hopes of fixing Nevada Health Link

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State pursues Deloitte in hopes of fixing Nevada Health Link

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Mar 7, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The company likely to conduct an external review of Nevada's troubled health insurance exchange has plenty of experience in the health care industry.

Deloitte has built four state insurance exchanges so far: Washington state, Kentucky, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Published reports indicate all four are doing well and the company has called them the "most successful" state marketplaces.

Officials in Nevada are hoping some of that knowledge and success will rub off here. Nevada Health Link has been plagued with glitches and problems. On Thursday, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board opted to move forward with Deloitte for an outside review of the system in hopes of fixing the problems.

The contract could total $1.5 million. The deal needs approval from the state's Board of Examiners, which could come by next week.

Mike Willden, director of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, pushed for Deloitte during the board meeting. He said the company has knowledge of the system and is known in Nevada; Deloitte helped build the state's new Medicaid portal.

In Connecticut, the Deloitte-built Access Health CT exchange surpassed its enrollment goal of 100,000 in February, long before the March 31 enrollment deadline, according to the agency.

More than 20,000 people have signed up through Nevada Health Link, far from the original enrollment goal of 118,000 or the recently revised goal of 50,000. 

Xerox, who built Nevada Health Link, has come under heavy criticism for its performance and ramped up efforts to fix problems. The company is delivering weekly updates to the state board. The state decided to keep Xerox on the job fearing a change in vendors at the current time would create more problems than solve.

Deloitte said it has 40 years of experience developing public health IT systems.

"In the public sector, we have extensive experience building large IT systems for federal and state government agencies, and Deloitte has successfully completed thousands of projects across 46 states," spokesman Paul Dunker said in an email.

Dunker did not comment on the company's upcoming review, noting the contract with the state has not been finalized yet. 

The proposed contract calls for a five-week assessment to look at nearly all aspects of the Health Link. If all goes as planned, the review could be finished by mid-April, according to the proposal.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.