HealthCare.gov couldn't handle high traffic prior to launch

HealthCare.gov could only handle 1,100 simultaneous users at once before it was launched, according to documents released Wednesday. And now, as more and more discrepancies with how well the site was tested before it went live emerge, there's at least one casualty of the problem-plagued effort: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CIO Tony Trenkle, who oversaw the launch of the website, is leaving to take a job in the private sector.

Nextgov reports that the document is a Sept. 30 testing bulletin from Quality Software Services, Inc., the contractor that built HealthCare.gov's registration system and data hub; QSS now leading a "tech surge" to get the site up and running by Nov. 30.

The bulletin states: "Ran performance testing overnight in IMP1B environment. Working with CGI [the main vendor for HealthCare.gov's backend] to tune the FFM environment to be able to handle maximum load. Currently we are able to reach 1100 users before response time gets too high. CGI is making changes to configuration."

Last week, it was reported that a government memorandum signed off on by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner revealed that she allowed HealthCare.gov to launch without final security testing.

During a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Tavenner said that about 700,000 people have signed up for coverage through the federal online marketplace, and that the agency will be releasing full enrollment data next week. The government aims to have 800,000 people enrolled by the end of the month, she added. 

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