Despite its well-publicized struggles with the HealthCare.gov website, Montreal-based solution provider CGI Group said it was never fired from the contract and that it plans to continue pursuing federal and state government work in the U.S.
CGI Federal, a subsidiary of CGI Group, was awarded a $93 million contract from the U.S. federal government in 2011 to build the Healthcare.gov website. But the company faced intense criticism for technical problems following the Oct. 1, 2013 rollout of the site.
Despite published reports earlier this year stating that CGI was fired by the federal government and removed from the Healthcare.gov contract, Lorne Gorber, senior vice president of global communications and investor relations, told CRN that is not the case.
"We're still working there, and have never been fired," said Gorber. "What we did was we stuck by our client. We wanted to do right by them, and they appreciated that."
Gorber also said CGI is still working on the Healthcare.gov project; according to published reports, the integrator's original contract expired in February and was not renewed. The Department of Health and Human Services hired Accenture in January to take over the project and fix the troubled website.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which runs the Healthcare.gov website, confirmed with CRN that CGI was not fired from the contract. However, a spokesperson also said that they have "fully transitioned marketplace activities from CGI to Accenture."
Accenture recently finalized a one-year agreement, which began in January, to continue its work on Healthcare.gov. The $121 million deal will be carried out until Jan. 10, 2015 to enhance the online insurance marketplace by improving back-end capabilities and issuer payments, and deploying new features ahead of the 2015 annual enrollment period.
"We are pleased that more than 8 million consumers have enrolled in a private plan through the federal Marketplace and look forward to continuing to work with Accenture to prepare for the next open enrollment period," the CMS spokesperson stated.
According to CMS officials, the Accenture deal is a cost-plus-award fee contract, or a performance-based contract, with an award plan that will incentivize the contractor to perform well.
In addition to troubles with the federal Healthcare.gov contract, CGI also suffered issues with state health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. In December, both Massachusetts and Vermont state governments froze funding to CGI Federal over missed deadlines and technical issues with the sites.
Despite the heavy criticism over the healthcare projects, CGI isn't straying away from the public sector, Gorber said. "We will be there for the long haul," he said.
PUBLISHED MAY 7, 2014