Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 07, 2013

Government Working to Fix Software, Design Flaws for Healthcare Websites

Insurance marketplaces promised under the Affordable Care Act are open, but customers have been kept from applying online for coverage due to software and design flaws.

Web traffic was higher than anticipated for the program, leading to frequent website crashes and general unavailability. According to the Wall Street Journal, federal officials are aware of the problem and are working around the clock to make sure that the website,, is fully functional.

Web-hosting company Media Temple Inc. said software code that had no identifiable purpose, in addition to a lack of Web-efficiency methods, led to the dysfunction of the website, reports the WSJ. The news site asked for an examination of by technology experts and the consensus was that a shoddy software foundation is to blame.

"We can do better and we are working around the clock to do so," said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, as reported by the WSJ.

The massive enrollment campaign got off to a rocky start. Federal officials claimed that opening day was the victim of its own success, as millions of eager consumers nationwide poured into the new marketplace.

"What's happened is the website got overwhelmed by the volume," said President Obama in an interview with the Associated Press. "Folks are working around the clock and have been systematically reducing the wait times, but we are confident that over the course of the six months - because it's important to remember people have six months to sign up - that we are going to probably exceed what anybody expected in terms of the amount of interest that people have."

Enrollment portions of the website were taken offline during off-peak hours over the weekend, the Health and Human Services Department announced Friday. The department promised to enact "significant improvements in the online consumer experience" by Monday.

The federal government shutdown has not contributed to the technical problems on the federal marketplace, according to

Edited by Alisen Downey
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]


FREE eNewsletter

Click here to receive your targeted Healthcare Technology Community eNewsletter.
[Subscribe Now]