CIO of Cover Oregon steps down amid criticism


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The top information technology executive for Oregon’s health insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act resigned earlier this week, adding to the list of high-level employees to leave the exchange following a trouble-filled rollout.

According to The Oregonian, Aaron Karjala’s resignation comes less than two weeks after a scathing report revealed that Cover Oregon was governed by a faulty contract with IT contractor Oracle that provided scant accountability for ensuring a good health insurance exchange.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber called for the firings of Karjala and the exchange’s chief operation officer, Triz delaRosa, when he announced the findings of an investigation into the botched exchange last month after he accepted the resignation of Bruce Goldberg, the exchange’s chief administrator.

Alex Pettit, Oregon’s chief information officer, will take over for Karjala on an interim basis while a full-time CIO can be found.

Oregon’s exchange remains the only one in the country that does not allow a citizen to self-enroll for health coverage in a single sitting despite more than $200 million being spent on the system.

According to The Oregonian, state officials are now considering whether to put the project on the shelf and instead use the federal exchange for the next enrollment period, which begins November.

Oregon’s problems have garnered national media attention and the governor has said he expects the problems surrounding Cover Oregon to be a significant issue in his bid for re-election later this year.

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Health IT, Oregon, States, Tech News