News 4 Investigates: Serco processed only 5 percent of anticipat - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Serco processed only 5 percent of anticipated workload

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- After months of waiting, the Federal government responded to News 4’s request for information on an Affordable Care Act application processing center in Wentzville, Missouri.

In May 2014, employees at the Wentzville facility run by Serco complained to News 4 that they were sitting around with no work to do.

One employee told News 4 they passed the time by playing "Pictionary on a dry erase board. We played 20 questions."
 
Employees at the plants in Kentucky and Arkansas, also hired to process the paper applications for the
ACA, made the same claims.
 
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid awarded Serco the $1.2 billion dollar contract in July 2013.
In September of 2013, Serco's program director for the project, John Lau, testified to a Congressional Committee about how busy Serco expected to be in processing ACA paper applications.
 
"We are prepared to manage the estimated 6.2 million paper applications representing 30 percent of the total applications projected to be received between October 1 sand March 31,” Lau said.
 
In March, News 4 submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out how many paper applications were processed by Serco during that time period. Just last month, News 4 received that information from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.
 
According to CMS records, from October 2013 through March of 2014, Serco processed 271,341 paper applications.   That's less than 5% of the anticipated workload.
 
None of this should have been a surprise to federal workers as Serco's contract with CMS stipulates that the company must submit reports on the number of applications processed every month.
 

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