Gov. John Kitzhaber announced a major managerial house-cleaning Thursday in response to the state's ongoing health insurance exchange fiasco.
Among those departing is perhaps Kitzhaber’s closest and most important health care reform ally, Bruce Goldberg, the Oregon Health Authority director who's led Cover Oregon since January. Kitzhaber said he also asked the Cover Oregon board to remove Triz DelaRosa, chief operating officer for Cover Oregon, and Aaron Karjala, Cover Oregon’s chief information officer.
“We have made mistakes and we will learn from it,” Kitzhaber said, following the release of an independent report highly critical of the state's work on the project. He added that it's still unclear what can be done to rescue the exchange website and didn't rule out scrapping the bulk of the work already performed. “I’m not saying that this is going to be easy.”
The governor pledged management and procurement reforms. The reforms include a statewide inventory and assessment of state information-technology projects, as well as a review of contracting practices thought to be central to the Cover Oregon debacle.
Cover Oregon's board-management structure will be overhauled. Moreover, a team of insurance-company technology experts will assist in assessing whether the current exchange work can be rescued.
The report by First Data, underway since January, marks the latest phase of a story that has become the subject of national media attention. Though it has spent more than $200 million on its exchange, Oregon’s is the only exchange in the country where the public can not self-enroll in a single sitting.
Read the full story at The Oregonian