Thursday, March 5th-6.0°C
25326
22952

Oracle Corp. sues Oregon over health insurance exchange, alleging breach of contract

SALEM, Ore. - Oracle Corp. has sued the state of Oregon in a fight over the state's health insurance exchange, saying government officials are using the technology company's software despite $23 million in disputed bills.

Oracle's breach-of-contract lawsuit against Cover Oregon was filed Friday in federal court in Portland. It alleges that state officials repeatedly promised to pay the company but have not done so.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Oregon's health insurance enrolmentwebsite was never launched to the general public. State officials have blamed Oracle, but the company says the state's bad management is responsible.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has called for the state to sue Oracle and recover some of the $134 million it's already paid to the Redwood City, California, company.

In June, Oregon issued legal demands for documents that could become evidence in a possible lawsuit against Oracle.

Officials in the governor's office and the state Department of Justice did not immediately return calls for comment. Oracle declined to comment.

The lawsuit lays out in the most detailed terms yet Oracle's side of the story.

The company says the project became a victim of bureaucratic infighting between two state agencies responsible for both the Cover Oregon website and a separate effort to modernize a complex state computer system. It says state officials were unable to define requirements for the Cover Oregon system, an essential early step, and even went on a 60-day "retreat" to develop them but "returned empty-handed."

The lawsuit also faults the state's decision not to hire a systems integrator, which works as a sort of general contractor to co-ordinate and direct the work of multiple technology vendors. With the state acting in that capacity, the lawsuit says, Oracle programmers were at the whims of indecisive and warring managers.

The website's problems became a political liability for Kitzhaber, a Democrat who has built a national reputation as a health care reformer. His Republican rival, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, has used the Cover Oregon fiasco to argue that Kitzhaber is an ineffective manager and a poor steward of public funds.

Instead of signing up for health insurance in one sitting, Oregonians had to use a hybrid paper-online process that was costly and slow, and the state had to hire more than 400 workers to help them. Altogether, about $250 million in federal funds has been spent on Oregon's exchange, including technology development, salaries, advertising and rent.

Despite the exchange's technology woes, about 454,500 Oregonians have enrolled in coverage through Cover Oregon using the hybrid process. An estimated 97,000 of those enrolled in private health plans, while about 357,500 enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, the state's version of Medicaid.

Earlier this year, the state decided to stop building the Oracle website and transition to the federally run enrolmentwebsite.

The FBI and the federal Government Accountability Office are also investigating Oregon's exchange problems.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15082.84-51.01
S&P CDNX698.09-4.21
DJIA18096.90-106.47
Nasdaq4967.142-12.76
S&P 5002098.53-9.25
CDN Dollar0.8055+0.0006
Gold1200.00-0.60
Oil53.52+0.29
Lumber287.30-3.40
Natural Gas2.763-0.006

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.55-0.05
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.18+0.005
Metalex Ventures0.04-0.005
Russel Metals24.95-0.26
Copper Mountain Mining1.24-0.01
Colorado Resources0.13-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0065-0.0015
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.045-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.225+0.01

 



25103

FEATURED Property
2178707OPEN HOUSE LAKE COUNTRY
$109,000
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Refinance your mortgage?

Canadian Mortgage rates are low and could be dropping down in time for the spring market following a drop in the Bank of Canada Rate on January 21 by 1/4% which will save new buyers and those with mo...


Creating your retirement vision

A vision means different things to different people. To the head of a large corporation, it’s the ability to chart a course that will deliver success (think Steve Jobs and Apple), to a shaman, i...


It's OK to say 'I'm sorry'

Photo: ContributedStand-up comedians and sitcoms have been making fun of Canadians for being polite as long as I can remember. Being known for our niceness is certainly not a bad thing and I wish more...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25107