CMS taps Terremark cloud services for insurance exchanges

By Mary Mosquera
12:13 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will use the cloud computing services of Terremark Federal Group Inc., of Herndon, Va., to support its plan finder and the system demands of the health insurance exchange program being created in the 50 states.

The vendor will enable CMS to increase its capabilities for infrastructure as a service instead of owning and managing the assets. Cloud computing services include project management and collaboration tools.

Terremark will develop and establish the Healthcare.Gov’s plan finder’s system, transferring it from its current proprietary commercial system to an open platform system, according to an Aug. 18 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities. That change will also include moving the system from two data centers in New Jersey and Arizona to the CMS cloud computing environment.

The vendor will also design and deploy tools to advance medical-loss ratio and other health reform applications required under the Affordable Care Act.

Among the first users of the cloud computing platform will be the 11 states, which received early IT innovator grants in February to develop a variety of insurance exchange models. The cloud platform will enable states to coordinate their activities, collaborate and avoid duplication.

On Aug. 12, CMS announced $185 million in insurance exchange establishment grants to 13 states and the District of Columbia.

[See also: Q&A: The good, bad, and otherwise of cloud computing in federal health IT.]

Terremark will also assure information security across the health reform programs of the Affordable Care Act by meeting health data and federal standard requirements, such as the Federal Information Security Management Act. Terremark will add strong security management capabilities to support the applications that will be hosted in the cloud environment, such as two-factor authentication and security monitoring.

Although Terremark’s services will focus on cloud computing technologies for the agency’s health reform efforts, it will also expand those to CMS’ general system development initiatives. The contract runs a total of five years.