$440M Medicare contract goes to Pearson

A $440 million contract from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been awarded to Pearson Government Solutions Inc. to manage its Beneficiary Contact Center program.

Under the contract, Pearson of Arlington, Va., will handle all calls, in English and Spanish, to the 24-hour, toll-free Medicare help line for all states and U.S. territories. Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries call the number for general information and to request printed material on health care plans and the new Medicare prescription drug program. Pearson also will handle Medicare claims calls and written correspondence.

The help line gets more than 20 million calls annually, and is one of the largest citizen contact management programs in the federal government, according to Pearson. The new contract expands Pearson's work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency of the Heath and Human Services Department, for an additional two and a half years in supporting the help line. Pearson has managed the Beneficiary Contact Center program since 2002.

The award is the first task order issued under the 10-year, $9 billion Contact Center Operations contract, awarded to six vendors for contact-center operations for general Medicare and claims inquiries. In addition to Pearson, the other contract winners are AdminaStar Federal Inc., Lockheed Martin Services Inc., ACS Federal Health Care LLC, Trailblazer Health Enterprises LLC and Palmetto GBA LLC.

Pearson also was one of five companies to win a spot in September on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services'10-year, $1 billion Contact Center Systems and Support contract for IT services to support its contact center operations and beneficiary contact center activities. The other companies are AdminaStar Federal, Lockheed Martin Services, Systems Research and Applications Corp. and Northrop Grumman Information Technology.

Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Government Computer News' affiliate publication, Washington Technology.

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