​ANALYSIS: CMS continues trend towards smaller Agile shops

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G2X TAKE: The announcement late last week that CMS has chosen another small Healthcare.gov alumni shop for this 1 year $5M contract to utilize the Agile development process to establish the architecture for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) continues what is an undeniable trend – one that leans heavily towards small agile west-coast style shops.

For this contract, NAVA PBC won what appears to be their first prime government contract ever as they beat out 18 other bidders, (yes eighteen) to pick up this task to support MIPS, a system designed to “accept quality payment program reporting data from Medicare eligible physicians, calculate a composite performance score (CPS), compare the CPS to a predetermined threshold to determine if the eligible clinician receives a payment incentive or negative adjustment, and account for the results of a physician appeal process (targeted reviews).”

NAVA PBC has certainly earned their share of credibility as one of the firms who was “brought in to help fix HealthCare.gov in the winter of 2013”.

This award, which comes on the heels of a number of new procurement approaches taken on by CMS for contracts such as DEX and the PECOS Redesign effort, along with the recent award of a new Agile BPA (ADELE) that is reported to have been released as limited competition and awarded to a select number of smaller agile shops, has large and small CMS vendors alike more than a little concerned about how this may impact the competitive landscape moving forward.

This trend is not new across the Federal space as the impact that 18F and the Digital Services group is making extends well beyond GSA. Only time will tell how much a new administration embraces these groups and new approaches, but the one thing we do know is that the firms who are unable or unwilling to adapt run the risk of watching much of the action in the near term from the sidelines. 

What do you think about this new approach taken by CMS? Love it? Hate it? Think it could/should be done differently/better? Comment below. Note- you will need to be logged in to participate in and view the conversation


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