Allegations of fraud possible for Cover Oregon website

Allegations of fraud possible for Cover Oregon website

[Ed. – It’s not clear there ever was a website.]

[T]he [developers of the] Cover Oregon website [were] able to paint a picture of a flashy website – imagine a concept car that looks flashy in the showroom but doesn’t actually run.

But documents uncovered by the KATU Investigators show [Carolyn] Lawson hadn’t actually figured out how to build the site, even as she was promising the federal government – and her bosses – that Cover Oregon’s website was going to work.

So what, exactly, were the federal and state reviewers being shown?

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In a Sept. 27, 2012 email to Bruce Goldberg – Lawson’s boss at the Oregon Health Authority, who is now in charge of Cover Oregon – she sent a link to something called “The Solution Factory,” a site hosted by software contractor Oracle.

Lawson wrote in the email that the link went to a site hosting the same demonstrations the team provided to project stakeholders.

“It demonstrates what we have built to date,” she wrote. “By watching this every month, you can see our progress in real time.”

That link is no longer operational. …

Despite the fact the website still doesn’t work today, the KATU Investigators found evidence Lawson – or members of her staff – reported to the federal government that the project was going well.

In January 2012, for instance, Lawson wrote a project update for the legislator’s Ways & Means Committee.

She wrote that staff from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had reviewed the design in its entirety on Nov. 16 and 17. She said they were “delighted” with the technical application and level of quality.

“They gave Oregon very high marks, say our design was among the best they had seen,” she wrote.

During this same period, however, the independent quality-assurance company the state hired was reporting a disaster in the making.

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