This is a follow up on a diary I wrote on Saturday (HealthCare.gov Going Down for "Extended Maintenance" Tonight. This Could be Very Good.) when I noticed that the tech surge team had scheduled a 12 hour maintenance period for Saturday night. It seems the only reason to implement such a long down period would be to make some pretty big changes and to take some time to test them.
I've been checking since Sunday to find a story or some anecdotal evidence that there was an improvement, but so far I haven't found much. Of course whenever the site goes down, or people have problems, the press just jumps all over it and you can find all kinds of stories, but you won't hear much if there's been any improvements.
Well, given the current journalistic negligence of the 4th estate, I did run across this little blurb from Politico, CMS acknowledges HealthCare.gov outage Monday afternoon. It's Politico so of course the thrust of the story is that HealthCare.gov had an outage yesterday. But at the end of this short hit piece I found this:
HealthCare.gov acknowledges additional outages with the online application feature each night from about 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., when the site is taken down for maintenance.Now these "fixes" may be back end fixes and not very visible to the public, but they may also be very important fixes. And notice that they are now taking the site down every night from 1 AM to 5 AM? I'm going out on a bit of a limb, but I think they've identified the major problems with the site, they've prioritized the patches that they can get into production quickly, and they have a team of developers that are working on the patches and are getting them into production on a daily basis.
The administration has made “more than a dozen important fixes” to the application and enrollment system over the weekend, Bataille added.
So I'm very optimistic that they are making some really good progress, and if they are, the politics of HealthCare.gov is about to change in a big way. The, I can't get on the site, stories will be replaced by, they're making big improvements and people are getting coverage, stories. Once we've turned the corner and people are able to buy affordable insurance in a big way, there'll be no turning back. And since the press made it sound like the ACA was a total failure and couldn't be fixed, I suspect there may be a bit of a public about face as the success stories start spreading.
If anyone has any anecdotal evidence that there's visible improvement of HealthCare.gov, or if you run across a story about it's improvement, please post a link. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're about to see some pretty rapid improvement of the site.