Massachusetts should improve its glitch-plagued public exchange enrollment system by dividing the system into separate segments and re-engineering each one separately.
William O’Leary, Dave Meyers and other consultants from Microsoft Corp. made that recommendation in a report recently posted on the Massachusetts Health Connector website.
Massachusetts universities helped give birth to modern computers, and its government helped develop the public health insurance exchange concept. But the state has had to depend mainly on manual workarounds for the 2014 public exchange enrollment period.
The Microsoft consultants say the exchange technology project failed mainly because the designers used an outmoded, “tightly coupled” architecture. If one system fails, they all do, the consultants say.
The exchange will work better and be easier to develop and test if it shifts a “service-oriented architecture” philosophy, or uses loosely coupled, plug-and-play systems, the consultants say.