GovBytes: Are state CIOs out of position on health care?

Most people are probably vaguely aware that last year’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires each state to set up a “health benefit exchange,” where residents can go to compare options and purchase health insurance, by 2014. What people might not realize is that, according to an article in Government Technology, it’s Chief Information Officers at the statewide level who have been tasked with getting it done.

CIOs nationwide are under the microscope as they must identify technology gaps that need to be filled and assess existing legacy systems that may support the exchanges and the establishment of multi-state collaborations.

Report: State CIOs Under the Microscope on Health Benefit Exchanges

This, I think, raises an important question: Are CIOs really the right people for this job? Are they equipped to be delving so deeply into health care, when in most cases their backgrounds are in anything but health care management and operations? Or is this a case of the star right outfielder being asked to take up a post at second base with little to no training or preparation?

The federal government is providing $2.8 billion to the states to help get the ball rolling, but that’s about all. Most of the logistical work is being left to CIOs to figure out.

When it comes to implementing HBEs, are state CIOs in over their heads?


“GovBytes” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with Government Technology. If you see great a story on Gov Tech and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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