Interim Health Link director talks about new job, fixing system problems


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Interim Health Link director talks about new job, fixing system problems

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Mar 4, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The new director of the state's troubled health insurance exchange said he wants his own assessment of the system's problems.

The board of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange selected Steve Fisher as interim executive director of Nevada Health Link last Thursday. The system has been plagued with problems and director Jon Hager announced his resignation last month to pursue other opportunities.

On Tuesday, Fisher did his first media interview with Action News. Even he's only been on the job for a few days, Fisher knows time is ticking.

"There is a little bit of pressure obviously to get things fixed and resolved, and that's what I'm here to help do," said Fisher, who is the deputy administrator of the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services.

The health link has come under fire for a variety of problems that have frustrated customers. Many have run into error messages or website glitches.

"I'm going to be honest with you that we do have some issues with the system," said Fisher, who spoke with Action News via Skype from Carson City.

Fisher hopes his background in information technology makes a difference.

"I think primarily we need to have more oversight over the Xerox project, that's why we brought in a project manager to manage the Xerox team," said Fisher.

The deadline to purchase an insurance plan for this year is March 31. 

Developer Xerox has also faced heavy criticism for problems with the project and is now giving the state board regular updates on its efforts to fix the site. The company insists it's making progress. 

Action News caught up with Gov. Brian Sandoval during his visit to Henderson on Tuesday. We asked the governor if he thinks the project is a failure.

"I'm not going to go so far to say it's a failure because things are improving," Sandoval said. "The buck stops with me and if there's an issue, I take responsibility for that. That's why I am holding Xerox's feet to the fire."

Still, the state acknowledges that some people are still having problems.

"We are doing our best to fix the problems," Fisher said.

Fisher said he is serving on a temporary basis and does not intend to apply for the position permanently. But finding a new executive director could take months. The state board is expected to discuss the search for a permanent replacement at its Thursday meeting.