So how long are we going to be distracted and hang on to this error?  For goodness sakes when you errors at such if people had any data mechanics logic they would understand that an error of such is common as  the queries require a long process with analytics and there are a team of people that are responsible for creating the reports.  We talk about complexities all the time, well folks this report is one of the many out there. image This is like a bunch of kids out there with the handling and news reporting of this error, I have never seen anything like it but it goes to show that once emotions get involved here, and we are all humans, how the distraction levels disconnect folks from what really matters.  I mean I have to laugh not only at the folks picking this apart, but also the administration reaction. 

So what, an error was made and you are going these things over and over and over, so get a life and get used to data reporting errors as they will happen.  Funnier yet is the responses from Burwell at HHS with her tone and public comments.  This is a joke with what I have read.  You want to manage data and tech folks and get their respect?  “This is unacceptable”…please, get used to it as there will be more and just cop up that the technical folks made an error, not on purpose and it was not some “evil” attempt to inflate numbers.  Media, government and the public sure have a long ways to go here with understanding how errors like this occur and will continue to occur.  Reading this in Bloomberg, makes me laugh along with the fact that Facebook was used as an avenue to initially communicate the concern. 

“As public servants, we must constantly work to earn the trust of those we serve,” she said in the memo. “That trust is built on our commitment to transparency, ownership, accountability and accuracy, and being forthcoming about where we can do better.”

Now enter Issa on this and he’s just as distracted as the rest of them in making this some kind of sticking point, folks get a life and understand that when you deal with big data as such, stuff happens.  Oh these poor folks that are unaware of the the entire digital society we have today and again the media reporting, it’s a joke.   So on December 9th, we have another “Spanish Inquisition” where poor Tavenner once again will be grilled on this issue.  I though Issa would be smarter being he owns a technology company that does car alarms and maybe he just owns it and is far enough removed from the technology that he owns?  I don’t know but I would expect a little bit more from his side. 

Mistakes like this will happen and they are not intentional, ask anyone who does analytics work for goodness sakes.  These folks don’t understand models and how it all comes together.  We have a lot of bad models out there and CMS is no exception on what they are trying to work with as some are old and need to be updates as after a while the models don’t work anymore.  You can read the link below on how Bloomberg with all his money and power got duped on Big Gulp himself with trying push those “science” numbers he had and it still didn’t work.  People don’t’ know when to stop and yes people with money and power get really duped too.

How Many More “Bloomberg Big gulp” Failed “Proof of Concept” Models Can We Sustain Before Everyone Splits a Gasket?

Furthermore, talking of bad models the head of CDC was the one who sold Bloomberg and then later we see the same stuff at CDC with part of their site having to be taken down as people again, with their use of data an perceptions stuck a proof of concept out there that attacked consumers as employers used the rationale to fire employees?  Now how smart is that?  Remember data can hurt people and it’s all the interpretation and perceptions.

CDC Shuts Down Obesity For the Work Place Web Site–One of Those Failed Models That Continues to Tie Obesity to Financial Losses-A Broken Proof of Concept Model That Does Not Work And Strips Employees of Their Dignity

Seriously, Issa needs to get a bigger focus here and do something that matters.  Sure we know some things take time, like IRS situation and that too is a joke in the way it’s been reported, as they finally got the folks who do Outlook Exchange IT services there to dig through all the masses of back ups to find the missing emails.  Shoot anyone in tech knows those are there and the time it takes and “they didn’t just disappear”.  What’s funny though about all these missing email accountings though is the fact that both CMS and the IRS alluded to the fact that their PCs had hard drive problems.  People in technology just roll on the floor laughing when we hear such as the emails are stored on a server and most do no back up copies on their own PCs and besides the active directory and group policy settings might be set to prohibit such anymore for security reasons…geez…

How Long Before We Proclaim Complex “Health Insurance” As A “Science”? Some Economists Think “Risk is a Science” And Mistake Laws For Just A Theoretic Framework or Idea…”The Grays”

So again we have Tavenner to testify again with Issa so get some popcorn out and get ready.  Why in the heck don’t they get her number two person, Andy Slavitt to testify?  There’s a brain right there who doesn’t rely on other folks for most of his information, why, he’s been on the inside track for years.  His background began as a Goldman Sachs banker, and then some time over at McKinsey, not to mention United acquiring a company he created, so duh?  Maybe we want this to be yet one more “display of the commons” for those who don’t want to understand how technology impacts business?  Duh?  Like I keep saying we have folks out there today that live in “virtual” worlds and confuse that with the real world it looks like clear case of that here all the way around with the exception of Mr. Slavitt as his financial modeling background puts his knowledge way ahead of this and all he has to do is kind of play bliss and go on about his business. 

A couple former CMS folks told me for a number of years United was somewhat at the disposal to help mentor them with building their models and that should not come as a surprise as all you need to do is go over to the CAP (Center for American Progress, the think tank HHS and CMS uses to write policy and see the present and past cast of characters and the names are right there.  You can start with Gruber and Zeke Emanuel if you like and we all know Zeke is just a walking/talking commercial and has been for years for United Healthcare.  I guess we’ll keep hearing that from him until he hits the age of 75 right? (grin). 

I finally came to the point where I named some of these perceptions out there the “Sebelius Syndrome” as it became so exaggerated with her perceptions out there being so off base and even comical at times, which is very sad.  Actually back in 2009 I saw that one coming with the fact that the insurance business was so beyond what government would be able to perceive (here we go with whacked out perceptions again) that they wouldimage just work methodically with data and marketing and take what do you think has happened here?  I had a banker the other day that loved the correlation of the Sebelius Syndrome:)

This unwelcomed phenomena that exists today…”The Grays”….
Virtual worlds, Real World We Have A Problem And It’s A Big One With A Lot of Gray Areas Finding Where The Defining Lines Exist, Confusing Many With A Lot of Weird Values And Strange Perceptions…

For God’s sakes can’t we get beyond this and look at how technology impacts the real world today or are we going to continue testimonies like this that do nothing?  It’s a changed world and it’s not like it used to be when we went raffling through papers in the old days.  You want to go back in time and read an article from the New York times from a Congressional testimony when Mr. Slavitt worked for Optum/Ingenix? Here’s the link and read it.  Senator Rockefeller was kind of left speechless as again these are smart money math model folks and the testimony was done and life went on with no actions as laws today with only verbiage that are not data centric in nature leave loopholes galore.   Here’s what Rockefeller said:

“He also expressed disappointment in the unwillingness of the two executives to acknowledge consumers’ concerns about whether they were being shortchanged.  “This is profoundly troubling testimony from both of you,” he said.

These guys use math models for money, plain and simple and are like the banks on Wall Street and that’s the way they think.  I’m not making a case one way or the other here, as there’s plenty on that topic all over the web.  Let’s face it, Tavenner is the head of CMS backed now by a much more powerful financial thinking individual who knows how to build math models for profit, anyone remember Ingenix and the AMA settlement?  Case made on that one.  Just like the banks do,  “don’t change the portfolio, just change the math” to quote Paul Wilmott, one of the the most respected Quants in the world.

You want to know why insurance policies are so complex today and hard to understand?  Look at the classified and see how many quants insurers are hiring, armies of them to do math modeling and design and the job of the quant is to ensure profit, so you figure out where that leaves us as consumers, ok?

Data Scientists/Quants in the Health Insurance Business–Modeling Beyond the Speed and Capabilities of Humans To Keep Up With The Affordable Care Act–Turning Into A World of Killer Algorithms That We All Hate..

Anyway I assume I will look forward to another show, nothing accomplished with Issa not looking at the big picture and we’re going to hammer this error of including dental data until the horse dies.  Maybe Issa might want to learn how to code, you think (grin).  Just posted yesterday the prisons are now ready to turn out coders soon too:)  We have a world today where people function like magpies that need to be able to stand up and quote numbers and stats all the time instead of using common sense like we used to.  I see it on Twitter every day and the perceptions of what people “think” matters is scary, it’s a brainwashing effect.  While I’m on that topic, how about Issa tweeting the Constitution?  Tech folks all the web just roared and roared on that one as what was he doing?  What did he accomplish?  Nothing other than lose a bunch of followers and gave tech folks a really good laugh. 

The message I guess here in what I’m trying to say, is get in touch with the real world and see the impact imageof technology and both the good and bad that comes out of it, as there’s both.  I’m just reading all the press on this and thinking to myself “what a circus of distraction” and furthermore, what’s accomplished other than some air time on TV and web?  Oh yeah, let’s have some disciplinary action for the hard working techs that probably made an honest mistake, burn the tech folks at the cross, the bad guys:)  I don’t give a darn about this “public service servants” line given, just get your perceptions on with the real world and let’s move forward.  Everyday the gap between how the administration reacts and talks in the press and the strange perceptions just play out much clearer every time and it’s not doing much for the public’s perception of managing the agency. 

Same for Issa as I have to ask at times myself “what planet are you living on” and he’s down in the OC where technology is very advanced and rules, so what gives here with these whacked out perceptions?  I just don’t get it as to why we continue to need these showdowns that don’t do anything?  We all knew Sebelius hated technology as it made her look bad and she couldn’t control it so why keep going down that same perceptual path again, better get used to tech errors as the rest of the world has in private industry and work with it.  BD

PS:  Visit the Killer Algorithms Page or simply watch the 4 videos in the footer of this blog and you’ll tune in quickly on what’s really going on out there.  Killer Algorithms page has a lot of content so you could bookmark it and come back when you have time as some of the videos are 30-60 minutes long and you will be educated and get some real signals as to when to be a skeptic and not duped as often. 

A “culture of increased transparency” is needed at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said, after Obamacare enrollment data were padded with dental plan customers in what she has called an error.

The mistake was “unacceptable,” Burwell said in a memo sent to her senior managers yesterday evening, obtained by Bloomberg News. As an first step, she told them to convene meetings with staff to solicit suggestions to increase “transparency, ownership and accountability” at the 77,000-employee agency she runs.

The number of people signed up for health insurance is a key measure of success for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The health department acknowledged Nov. 20 that it had double-counted about 393,000 people in dental plans when it announced that 7.3 million Americans were enrolled in August. Enrollment was revised downward as a result, to 6.9 million in August and 6.7 million in October.


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