CMS extends Accenture's deal

screen capture of site

WHAT: Accenture gets six-month extension on contract.

WHY: In the midst of a procurement for a new contractor to take over the lead role in developing and managing the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have opted to give incumbent Accenture six more months at the switch to get through the busy open enrollment period.

Open enrollment, which runs from Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 2014, is expected to be "a period of high stress on the ACA IT systems, including and the associated infrastructure," because of the traffic from millions of visitors expected to sign up for health insurance, switch plans, or extend their current coverage, according to contracting documents posted Sept 2.

"With millions of consumers expected to visit the website during open enrollment, we believe it is unwise to potentially transition the systems development and maintenance to a new provider during the open enrollment timeframe," a CMS spokesperson told FCW via email.

Accenture won a one-year contract on a limited source basis in January 2014 to take over from CGI Federal, which was widely blamed for the disastrous launch of the site in October 2013. Accenture's contract to run the Federally Facilitated Marketplace was initially pegged at $90 million, but has since grown to $175 million according to a July 31 report from the Government Accountability Office. Accenture will now hold the contract until July 10, 2015.

CMS expects to award a new contract next February.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Sep 04, 2014 at 2:33 PM

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