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Saturday
Jun022012

SACRAMENTO: California Health Benefit Exchange, recommendation, contract award for California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System, $359 million CalHEERS to Accenture LLC....

* Sacramento Bee:  "California awards contract to Accenture to run web system" - From the Bee:

The state has chosen a global information technology giant with a mixed performance history to build the online system needed to run the state's health insurance exchange. The California Health Benefit Exchange on Thursday said it would award the contract – worth $359 million – to Accenture LLC. The contract is for the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System, or CalHEERS for short.

Exchange officials would not comment on the decision, citing a weeklong window for losing bidders to protest.

Accenture will be charged with creating a consumer friendly website and enrollment system for individuals, families and small businesses seeking affordable health coverage. The system will manage insurance information for millions of Californians expected to become newly insured under the federal health care reform program.

The contract includes about $183 million for developing the system. That money will come mostly from the federal government. Once the system is in place, another $176 million will pay for continued development and operating costs over about 3 1/2 years.

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Accenture is the same company that supplied CalPERS with a problem-plagued new computer system last fall. The $514 million system was two years late when Accenture delivered it to CalPERS last September. The cost was more than $220 million over the original budget, although that includes some new features requested by CalPERS after the contract was signed; the pension fund considers the true overruns at around $150 million. Since the system went live, it encountered snags with disbursing death benefits, paying health insurance premiums and other functions.

In an April memo to the CalPERS board,  the pension fund's staff said progress is being made.