Oracle sues Oregon over exchange website controversy

Oracle, the primary developer of Oregon's online health exchange, has filed a lawsuit claiming the state owes Oracle $23 million, according to an Associated Press report.

Oracle and Oregon have been entangled in controversy after the board overseeing the online exchange halted the launch of the website. Oregon blames Oracle for the failed website, and Oracle has said the failed launch was the result of political motives.

The breach-of-contract lawsuit alleges government officials continue to use Oracle's software even though they still owe $23 million in disputed bills, according to the report.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges Cover Oregon executives did not define requirements for the system or hire a systems integrator to coordinate the work of technology vendors, both of which allegedly contributed to the failure of the exchange, according to the report.

In the midst of the controversy over the exchange, Cover Oregon managers allegedly continued to work with Oracle programmers, according to the report. "Oracle gave that help for many months, in spite of the public excoriation because it was committed to helping Cover Oregon complete the project and because Cover Oregon repeatedly promised to pay Oracle for its services," the lawsuit says, according to the report. "In the end, though, Cover Oregon reneged on its promises, thus prompting this lawsuit."

According to Melissa Navas, a spokesperson for Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), the lawsuit comes as no surprise. "The state fully expected to end up in litigation over Oracle's failure to deliver," said Ms. Navas, according to the report.

Oregon is also planning on filing a lawsuit against Oracle, blaming the developer for the exchange's troubles and the subsequent expenses encountered by the state.

More articles on online exchanges:

Massachusetts will not shift to federally run marketplace
Providers consider an uncertain market: Will accepting PPACA exchange plans hurt academic medical centers?
10 key policy issues facing healthcare

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