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Millennium Bug Could Bite HCFA

Millennium Bug Could Bite HCFA

WASHINGTON—Whether you call it the Year 2000 Problem (Y2K) or the Millennium Bug, it could bite the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quite badly, a congressional report warns. The Y2K problem stems from the fact that most computers still use only two digits to represent the year. Come the year 2000, unless this flaw is corrected, these computers will read 00 as the year 1900, and chaos will occur in their calculations.

In his sixth “report card” on the efforts of the federal organizations to correct their computers, Rep. Steven Horn (R-Calif) gave HHS an “F,” largely because of the failure of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to update its computers. Overall, he gave the federal effort a “D” grade.

“We estimate, at the current rate of progress, that nearly one-third of the federal government’s mission-critical systems will not be Year 2000 compliant by the deadline established by the President of March 30, 1999,” Rep. Horn said.

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