HHS taps AT&T for data network services

AT&T Government Solutions Inc. has won a 4-year, $76.6 million contract to manage the data network used to administer the nation's Medicare and Medicaid systems, the company announced today.

The contract was awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through a modification of the General Services Administration's FTS long-distance contract.

Under the contract, AT&T Government Solutions of Vienna, Va., will provide a team of program management professionals to support the Medicare Data Communications Network.

The network is a fully managed, wide area network that allows tens of thousands of users, such as Medicaid agencies and Medicare call centers, to access data, send critical applications and process claims. The network includes a 24-hour-a-day help desk.

The data network is a secure private network and allows external contractors to communicate with CMS offices and employees. In addition, the network links the CMS central office in Baltimore with regional offices as well as remote dialing access for more than 75,000 users.

AT&T will host the Medicare and CMS Web sites at its Internet data centers in Northern Virginia and San Diego. The company also will provide CMS' extranet, used by business partners, as well as its intranet, used for CMS employee communications. The network also provides Internet access for about 4,000 CMD employees.

AT&T Government Solutions, a provider of IT solutions to federal, state and local government, is a unit of AT&T Corp., of Bedminster, N.J. AT&T Corp. has about 70,000 employees and annual sales of $37.8 billion.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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