FCW: New CMS BPA showcases non-traditional IT contractors

“Recently the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Studies awarded a BPA for work on Medicare Payment Systems Modernization. The MPSM work will replace a system using 10 million lines of Cobol and assembly language with a new cloud-based system, according to a description on the U.S. Digital Service website to ‘scale and flex rapidly with how CMS processes claims and pays providers, transforming technology from a policy inhibitor to a multiplier.’”

“I was astonished to learn that all six awards on the BPA went to non-traditional contractors – loosely defined as small new firms, often founded by people who had worked previously in the private-sector tech industry. These firms usually are very oriented to the missions of agencies with whom they work, and have a culture whose core competence is engineering more than business development or the ability to respond to proposals. They also tend to have agile software development in their DNA rather than being a recent add-on…”

“The awardees currently have a handful of federal prime contracts, and employ between 30 and 200 people. The subs are even smaller. One was founded a year ago and currently does only commercial work. Traditionally, it wouldn’t have interest in government work (I was told “too much red tape, labor rates don’t support their talent”), but the civic tech movement has attracted that firm to the space, as its leaders very much want to support important missions and agencies, like improving healthcare…” Read the full article here.

Source: New CMS BPA showcases non-traditional IT contractors – By Steve Kelman, July 17, 2019. FCW.

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