Launch of insurance marketplaces highlights need for innovative technology

Technology innovation in healthcare is more important than ever now that the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces have rolled out, Faisal Hoque, founder of several companies including BTM Corp. and the BTM Institute, writes on

The business of healthcare can be "modified for better results," Hoque wrote. "When it comes to innovating business models for health-care delivery, it appears we have failed to keep pace with clinical advances, and surprisingly with most other industries."

Technology, including universal health information exchange, is key to improving healthcare, he said.

Meanwhile, glitches and technical issues in the health insurance exchange continued on the opening day of the health insurance marketplaces with delays and server crashes as consumers overwhelmed computer systems.

About 2.8 million people had visited the federal government's website as of late afternoon Monday, according to Marilyn Tavenner, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But many received error messages when they tried to create an account.

CMS "added capacity and we made some adjustments" to allow more access to the site where consumers can apply for insurance in the 37 states where the federal government is running the marketplaces, Tavenner said.

The state-run exchange in California received more than 5 million hits and 17,000 phone calls, officials there told the Los Angeles Times.

Officials said they planned to take the system down overnight to fix the problems.

For more information:
- here's Hoque's commentary
- read the LA Times article

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