Thursday, December 18, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Healthcare.gov Launches Computer Queuing System for Better User Experience

By Julie S | Dec 03, 2013 01:32 PM EST

Healthcare.gov
The updated HealthCare.gov website is set to be relaunched on Nov. 15, and it features a window-shopping tool that will assist the public in selecting coverage. (Photo : Reuters)

The new federal insurance exchange website Healthcare.gov has launched a computer queuing system on Monday for a better user experience.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is in charge of the $360 million website, has launched a queuing system after some 35,000 consumers using the site caused slowed page responses.

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In a media conference call, CMS spokesperson Julie Bataille said that the page’s response time was more than the response time the federal website has experienced in the past few weeks.

She added that CMS was able to institute “the new queuing process so that those moving forward in the application and shopping would be able to do so smoothly,” by using the data gathered from the software monitors website traffic patterns in real time.

The queuing tool CMS applied is just like what e-commerce websites practices. It allows consumers to request for e-mail notifications when it’s a good time to visit the site again. Users would usually receive a response from the queuing system between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the transaction volumes, time of the day, and specific day of the week.

Since the agency commenced the “tech surge” on October 22, the queuing system is the latest of over 400 improvements in the software.

On Sunday, a day after the deadline for the application of the software improvement, Jeffrey Zients, a White House insider and the leader of “tech surge,” told the Wall Street Journal that the site Healthcare.gov can accommodate 50,000 users, all at the same time. Additionally, since the application of the queuing system, CMS said that it functions well for 80 percent of the users and can smoothly accommodate 800,000 users every day.

The site’s window shopping feature, which permits consumers to see and compare an array of insurance plans before logging in, has also been improved.

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