CMS extends Terremark's HealthCare.gov cloud-hosting duties -- again


WHAT: A $15 million extension for Terremark to provide ID management hosting services for HealthCare.gov.

WHY: Even before the ill-fated launch of HealthCare.gov last year, plans were in place to transfer cloud hosting duties from Verizon subsidiary Terremark to Hewlett-Packard, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services don't seem to be in a rush to show Terremark the door.

In February, CMS awarded Terremark a seven-month extension as a "short-term bridge" to the HP takeover. In July, the agency granted Terremark a second, $31 million extension that will last through the upcoming open-enrollment period and through the end of March 2015. On Sept. 29, CMS announced it was expanding the recent modification to extend Terremark's work on the Enterprise Identity Management tool, which allows users to maintain secure access to HealthCare.gov. That out-of-scope modification is valued at $15 million.

CMS will continue using Terremark to host the infrastructure of large components of HealthCare.gov, including the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, where consumers shop for plans, and the Data Services Hub, which verifies applicants' identities and eligibility for subsidies by linking several federal systems. HP will be used for the small business marketplace set to open in the coming open enrollment season, as well as for services for agents and brokers, and for staging and testing. HP also hosts the backup site. Amazon Web Services is hosting the simplified application launching for new users as a subcontractor to HP. Returning users will continue to use services hosted by Terremark, according to CMS.

"Based on our lessons learned, we have instituted a plan to better manage peak traffic, while providing greater flexibility and scalability within the system. To achieve this and to accommodate the growing needs of consumers, we have decided to use three data cloud services, assigning each with specific responsibilities and measurable deliverables," a CMS spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

Click here to read the contracting documents.

This article was revised to clarify that CMS granted Terremark a second extension in July.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Sep 30, 2014 at 12:55 PM


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