CMS releases Front-End Systems (formerly CSFES) solicitation

Posted (Last updated )

** Update July 3, 2017

CMS releases Front-End Systems (formerly CSFES) solicitation

“The purpose of this contract is to procure contractor services for ingesting and processing data records for four component front-end IT systems. Considered together, these four systems have been known historically as the “Customer Support Front-end Systems” or CSFES. In this Statement of Work (SOW), we are moving to the shortened name “Front End Systems” or FES.

The four FES component systems are:

1. Encounter Data System Front End System (EDFES)

2. Risk Adjustment Processing System (RAPS)

3. Prescription Drug Front End System (PDFS)

4. Medicare Medicaid Plans (MMPs) Front End System

The FES takes in and processes all Medicare Part C and Part D program data records 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Volume figures are shown in Table 1 below. The FES contractor will be responsible for the design, development, testing, implementation, operation, and maintenance of these four front end systems. The core FES functions pertain to managing a large, multi-component IT system. The customer support function is a relatively small part of the FES contract, and focuses on assisting external entities to solve problems they have in interfacing with the FES.

The FES also is responsible for feeding accurate and timely data to downstream systems that generate payments for the Medicare Advantage Part C program, the Part D program, and the Medicare-Medicaid plan demonstration program, as well as to a downstream data warehouse that is the data source for demonstration evaluators. Currently, Part C and D program payments are about $250 billion a year for items and services provided to about 18 million Part C beneficiaries receiving medical services through Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and about 40 million Fee-for- Service and Part C beneficiaries receiving prescription drugs through Part D plans…”

Response Due: 07/25/2017 10:00 AM EDT

G2X TAKE: With CMS leaning heavily towards small business of late, any unrestricted competition is drawing extra attention as large firms look for ways to break through, though the release of this requirement over the July 4 th holiday will naturally limit the competition as firms that may be on the fence evaluate their options. While this is being released a bit later than originally anticipated, any firms pursuing this have been positioning for some time with teams likely to be set. Details for recent activity related to this contract is included in the thread below. 

The 2017 CMS forecast located here provides some details as to the projected range of contract value.

This task was released on IT-70. Need a copy of the SOW. A copy can be found in the comment thread below.


** Update December 6, 2016

Customer Support Front-End Systems (CSFES), Solicitation Number: CMS170466HLH – December 6, 2016, FBO.gov

“This Notice concerns the potential requirement for a Vendor or Contractor to create or install existing software that accepts data using the standard X12 format, test to ensure that the data is transmitted correctly and maintain the Customer Support Front-End System (CSFES), and to provide support services to data submitters and to CMS. The core functions pertain to managing a large, multi-component IT system. The customer support function is a relatively small part of the CSFES contract, and focuses largely on assisting external entities to solve problems they have in interfacing with the CSFES.

The CSFES is a suite of four front-end systems that takes in and processes all Medicare Part C and Part D program claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as shown in Table 1 below. The CSFES must ingest and validate multiple claim types: encounter data from the Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare-Medicaid Plans (inclusive of both Medicare and Medicaid encounters), Medicaid and Medicare prescription drug event (PDE) records, and Medicare Advantage risk adjustment records. The CSFES is responsible for feeding accurate and timely data to downstream systems…”

Response due December 19, 2016

G2X TAKE: It has been a busy holiday season for CMS contractors, with several active solicitations on the street. After justifying a 20 month contract extension to the incumbent this summer (see below), CMS is pushing forward with plans to re-compete this task to support a suite of four front-end systems that take in and process all Medicare Part C and Part D program claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This task was originally awarded as a $37M 4 year task to incumbent Palmetto GBA in 2012. The current sources sought is seeking small business vendors who can provide the required support and given the recent track record of much larger contracts being set-aside by CMS, small business will be prepared for the final RFP to go that way. Per the CMS forecast, CMS expects to release the RFP in January with an award in July 2017

Looking to partner? A primary place to start for any solicitation that may stay small at CMS is this list of trending small businesses at CMS that highlight who has been winning of late. We know this is list is getting a bit dated - a revised list is in the works. 

** Note: this take was generated late last week, but due to space constraints did not make it into the Daily Take. As this was posted in a public fashion, we know many who are well down the path on their response. There is still time to make your case to get on a team if this is the first you are hearing of this. This is true even after the sources sought responses have been submitted. 


** Update August 3, 2016

G2X TAKE: CMS justifies 20 month $21M extension for development and maintenance of CSFES to incumbent Palmetto GBA. A written justification is provided for continued support of this mission-critical system which supported more than 3.5 billion transactions in CY15 alone.  A link to the J&A is located here


**Posted October 6, 2015

CMS Seeks Customer Support Front-End Systems (CSFES) – October 5, 2015, FBO

The purpose of this requirement is to acquire a Customer Support Front-End System and associated Help Desk services to support CMS as follows:

  • Maintain/Develop Front End System processing for Risk Adjustment (RA), Prescription Drug Event (PDE), Encounter Data (ED), and Medicare Medicaid Plans (MMPs)
  • Maintain/Develop systems to send data to contractors, and CMS' Integrated Data Repository
  • Maintain/Develop systems to receive data from processing contractors and return reports/files to submitters
  • Provide customer support to the MAOs and third party submitters of the data files
  • Maintain/Develop Monitoring for MAOs/Submitters/CMS

G2X TAKE: Th is sources sought for Customer Support Front-End System is to provide all systems development and interfaces for the MAs to connect and submit the data to CMS, as well as functions such as the Help Desk and support for both the MAs and CMS. With the contractor expected to receive approximately 5 million EDRs submitted by Medicare Advantage Organizations and Medicare-Medicaid Plans daily along with 7 million PDE records and 6-10 million RAPS records daily, the awardee for this task is likely to come from a small handful of established players. Palmetto GBA has been providing support on CSFES.


Have something you would like to add? Comment below

Note: You will need to be logged in as a member to see comments and participate in the discussion.