Obama Administration Seeks New HealthCare.gov Contractor
The Obama administration has launched an effort to find companies interested in running HealthCare.gov after CMS' one-year contract with Accenture expires in January 2015, the New York Times reports (Pear, New York Times, 4/29).
In a recently released "sources sought" notice, CMS asked interested and eligible small vendors -- defined as those with annual revenues under $25 million -- to submit their information by May 2. If the response rate from small vendors falls below expectations, CMS could issue a general request for formal proposals, which would permit contract bids from any company, including larger vendors such as Accenture (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 4/21).
On Monday, federal officials said that they would hold a competition before awarding the contract, adding that they particularly are interested in contract bids from small businesses owned by women, veterans and "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals."
According to documents distributed to potential vendors, the next contractor must be able to:
- Overhaul HealthCare.gov under "aggressive time constraints," including transitioning "a large-scale systems development project" of between 400 to 500 employees within three months;
- Perform "continuous improvements" to the federal exchange website, such as shortening response times, reducing error rates and boosting site capacity;
- Assess individual components of the site, as well as the "overall system, in aggregate and end-to-end"; and
- Test the website two months prior to the launch of the second enrollment period and resolve any "critical and severe defects" found during testing.
According to CMS spokesperson Aaron Albright, the announcement was a prelude to the "expected recompetition" of the federal exchange contract, adding that the agency has to perform "market research in order to determine if there are any small businesses that could perform this work" (New York Times, 4/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.