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Telephone Interpretation and Written Document Translation Services

Solicitation Number: HHS-CMS-DBSC-SBSS-13-071
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Location: Office of Acquisition and Grants Management
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HHS-CMS-DBSC-SBSS-13-071
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Added: Aug 05, 2013 3:36 pm
TELEPHONE INTERPRETATION and WRITTEN DOCUMENT TRANSLATION SERVICES

This is a SMALL BUSINESS SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE. This is NOT a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. The purpose of this notice is to obtain information regarding the availability and capability of qualified small businesses (e.g., 8(a), service-disabled veteran owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, and women-owned small business), that can provide 24x7 oral over-the-phone interpretation and written document translation services in any language in support of CMS's consumer inquiries. The information from this market research will assist the Government in determining the appropriate acquisition method, including whether a set-aside is possible. An organization that is not considered small business under the applicable NAICS code should not submit a response to this notice.


BACKGROUND


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the largest purchaser of health insurance in the United States, purchasing health care for an estimated 79 million people through Medicare and Medicaid. CMS works to ensure high quality health care at a reasonable price and to provide information about benefits, health promotion, and choices. CMS is responsible for accurate, timely, relevant, understandable, and easily accessible information that will help individuals evaluate health plan options, nursing home options, and make decisions on their individual health care needs. CMS is required to broadly disseminate information to people with Medicare (and prospective people with Medicare) on the coverage options available, prescription drug information and General Medicare information.


In order to meet national program missions and strategies as well as legislative mandates (Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and Medicare Modernization Act of 2003), CMS operates a toll-free nation-wide, 24 x 7 contact center to provide beneficiary customer service and address beneficiary inquiries on topics such as Medicare benefits and programs, claims, as well as questions about general Medicare policies, referrals for assistance in decision-making or other individual healthcare needs. Medicare beneficiaries have choices in Medicare Plans that affect many things, such as out-of-pocket costs, benefits, choice of doctors and providers, convenience, and quality. In addition to this, with new reform and regulations and with the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), calls and inquiries may also include issues regarding Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), consumer health choices or other Federal programs and Department initiatives.


CMS strives to ensure customer service availability for its Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations. In order to provide LEP populations with quality customer service and address inquiries for callers who speak languages other than English and Spanish, CMS provides its contact center agents with the ability 24x7 to third-party conference with an over-the-phone interpretation service in the event that a caller may speak a language that is not spoken by the agent handling the call. For written inquiries in other languages, CMS also provides its contact center agents with the ability to send written documents for translation.

On March 23, 2010, the President signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148). On March 23, 2010, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 200 (P.L. 111-152) was signed into law. The two laws are collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Affordable Care Act creates new competitive private health insurance markets - called Marketplaces - that will give millions of Americans and small businesses access to affordable coverage and the same insurance choices that members of Congress will have. Marketplaces will help individuals and small employers shop for, select, and enroll in high quality, affordable private health plans that fit their needs at competitive prices.

In addition to the toll-free nation-wide, 24 x 7 Medicare contact center, CMS also operates a Marketplace call center to provide answers to questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace. Collectively, these two call centers are referred to as the Contact Center Operations (CCO).

The inquiries that the CCO will be responsible for generally align with the different traditional benefits and programs, as well as questions about general policies, referrals for assistance in decision-making or other individual healthcare needs. As such, timely and accurate language interpretation and document translation is a vital part of the decision-making process for CMS's consumer base.


Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace are critical nation-wide programs that are politically sensitive and highly visible. The contact center program serves as one of the primary outreach channels for over 300 million people and therefore requires high performance standards, disaster planning (business continuity), and other important oversight and monitoring functions. Requirements for Telephone Language Interpretation and Written Document Translation operations follow including detail on specific operational requirements. Please also see Appendix A for additional Security & Technical Requirements.


Due to the sensitive nature of the program and types of inquiries and assistance the program provides to beneficiaries and consumers across a multitude of health care choices, conflicts of interests are a concern. For the purpose of identifying entities with conflicts of interest, the entity is one that is engaged in or is affiliated with, as that term is explained in FAR 19.101, the -
(1) Operation or sale of managed care plans, drug insurance plans, Medigap policies, durable medical equipment, dialysis services, or any other related provider groups, products or services;
(2) Sale of products or services targeted at populations covered by Medicare, e.g., retirement time-share vacations; and,
(3) Preparation of work or is under contract to prepare work that would provide an independent review or assessment, for the government, of the performance or effectiveness of the operations under the contract.


REQUIREMENTS OVERVIEW


The following provides potential responders with an overview of the types of support that would be required of the telephone interpretation services contractor. Note that although this is an extensive list, it is not meant to be all inclusive.

The telephone interpretation services contractor will:


1. Effectively provide 24x7 oral over-the-phone interpretation services in any language (supporting at least 100 languages (See Appendix B)) with a service level of 80% of the calls answered within 30 seconds for connection with a live interpreter over-the-phone.
2. Ensure appropriate capacity to handle at least 100 languages 24x7, including Spanish and have the capacity to handle approximately 50,000 calls per year.
3. Provide language identification support for cases where the CCO is unable to identify the correct language to request.
4. Maintain the confidentiality of all interpretations; protect the integrity of information with customer person-sensitive information including Personal Health Information and Personally Identifiable information (personal health records, etc) while handling calls, and adhere to all applicable federal Privacy and Security acts, especially the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Privacy Act.
5. Utilize a training and certification process for interpreters to ensure quality interpretations, competency, appropriate knowledge skills, customer service skills, knowledge of culture-specific medical practices, and protecting privacy and confidentiality of oral interpretations. Interpreters should also have real-life interpreting experience.
6. Ensure interpreters are trained and competent in healthcare and health insurance terminology and provide accurate interpretations in support of CMS's customers and stakeholders.
7. Implement, measure and follow processes and best practices for quality call monitoring to ensure the quality, accuracy, consistency, timeliness, and confidentiality of oral telephone interpretation sessions.
8. Provide multiple participant conferencing features and capabilities via a dedicated 1-800 access line for telephone interpretations 24x7 while meeting service level and performance targets.
9. Provide documentation and materials explaining over-the-phone interpreter standard operating procedures and report on service utilization across the program, including language utilization, service level, length of calls by language (average handle time), call patterns (time of day/day of week), etc.
10. Provide translation of written documents on ad hoc basis. Documents will be transmitted to the contractor via a secure method designed to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the information.
11. Ensure appropriate capacity to handle written document translation for at least 100 languages, including Spanish and have the capacity to handle approximately 1000 written translation per year.
12. Render a faithful and accurate rendition of the original text; taking into account any cultural nuances of the target language.
13. Use of comprehensive quality assurance process to ensure the written translation is grammatically correct and syntactically correct, free from errors and omission, and faithfully carries the content and sense of the original text to the target language.
14. Implement, measure and follow processes and best practices for quality monitoring of written document translation to ensure the quality, accuracy, consistency, timeliness, and confidentiality of written document translations.


CAPABILITY STATEMENT INFORMATION


Please address your knowledge of and experience with each of the following points (A) through (F). Reference where applicable specific items from the Requirements Overview section while providing 24x7 oral over-the-phone interpretation services and written document translation services.


(A). Demonstrate your expertise and experience providing 24x7 oral over-the-phone interpretation services in at least 100 languages. Please provide comprehensive information on supported languages including a list of the languages available for 24x7 over-the-phone interpretation services and call center(s) model/location of interpreters. Please also include the capacity of contact volumes you are able to support in any given time period, including over the course of one year.


(B). Demonstrate your expertise and experience with providing a service level of at least 80% of incoming calls answered within 30 seconds (average speed of answer) via 24x7 on-demand over-the-phone interpretation services in at least 100 languages via a dedicated 1-800 access line that has the ability to third-party conference in multiple parties.


(C). Demonstrate your expertise and experience in providing written document translation services for at least 100 languages. Please provide comprehensive information on supported language including a list of the language available for written document translation. Please also include the capacity of document volumes you are able to support in any given time period, including over the course of one year.


(D). Demonstrate your expertise and experience in utilizing a program for training and certifying oral over-the-phone interpreters and document translators in languages, healthcare insurance and/or medical knowledge, and sensitivity and privacy of personal medical information.


(E). Demonstrate your expertise and experience in utilizing quality call monitoring and document translation quality monitoring processes and best practices. Specifically provide information on how you measure, track, monitor, improve and ensure the quality, accuracy, consistency, and timeliness of telephone interpretations and document translations.


(F). Demonstrate your experience and expertise in adhering to HIPAA, Privacy Act, and federal Security rules and standards on oral over-the-phone interpretations and document translations that include handling sensitive personal health/medical information and personally identifiable information (PHI and PII). Please see the attached federal guidelines in Appendix A when formulating your response.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUESTED:


Interested parties having the capabilities necessary to perform this requirement may submit capability statements via email to Charles Brewer (Charles.Brewer1@cms.hhs.gov). CAPABILITY STATEMENTS MUST DEMONSTRATE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED ABOVE. Please address each in order listed above under "Capability Statement Information."


Capability statements shall also include the following information: (Capability Statements shall be limited to 10 pages and shall designate any/all teaming arrangements and the work proposed to be performed by each team member.)


Business Information --
a. DUNS
b. Tax ID
c. Company Name
d. Company Address
e. Company Point of Contact, Phone and Email address
f. Current GSA Contracts
     1. Schedule
     2. 8(a) STARS GWAC
     3. Vets GWAC
g. Do you have a Government approved accounting system? If so, please identify the agency that approved the system.
h. Business Size Status (e.g., small business, 8(a), woman owned small business (WOSB/EDWOSB), veteran owned, etc.) as validated via the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) for the applicable NAICS code (i.e. 541930). All offerors must be registered in the CCR located at http://www.ccr.gov/index.asp. Please provide WOSB/EDWOSB certificates/certifications.
i. Point of Contact, Phone and Email address of individuals who can verify the demonstrated capabilities identified in the responses.


Responses must be submitted no later than August 14, 2013 by 2:00 pm. Capability statements will not be returned and will not be accepted after the due date.


This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Any organization responding to this notice should ensure that its response is complete and sufficiently detailed to allow the Government to determine the organization's qualifications to perform the work. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. After a review of the responses received, a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation may be published in Federal Business Opportunities. However, responses to this notice will not be considered adequate responses to a solicitation.


Confidentiality. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).


Questions concerning submission requirements may be directed to Charles Brewer, Contract Specialist, 410-786-5170 or Charles.Brewer1@cms.hhs.gov. CMS will not entertain questions related to contracting strategy.


APPENDIX A

Security:


The contractor shall comply with the applicable security requirements related to the operation of the CCO defined in the Business Partner System Security Manual (BPSSM) (also known as IOM Publication 100-17), the Core Security Requirements and its operational appendices (A, B and C), found at http://www.cms.gov/Manuals/IOM/. The contractor shall implement a security program that adheres to CMS security standards. The Info Security Library can be found at http://www.cms.gov/InformationSecurity/ISD/list.asp. The contractor shall fully cooperate with CMS audits, reviews, evaluations, tests, and assessments of contractor systems, processes, and facilities. The following security regulations, policies, and guidelines are applicable to all CMS contractors:


1. Public Law 93-579, The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended
2. Public Law 99-474, Computer Fraud & Abuse Act of 1986
3. Public Law 100-235, Computer Security Act of 1987
4. Public Law 104-13, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1978, as amended in 1995, U.S. Code 44 Chapter 35
5. Public Law 104-106, Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 (formerly known as the Information Technology Management Reform Act)
6. Public Law 104-191, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996 (formerly known as the Kennedy-Kassenbaum Act)
7. Public Law 107-347, E-Government Act of 2002, Federal Information Systems Management Act (FISMA)
8. Presidential Decision Directive/NSC-63 (PDD 63), Critical Infrastructure Protection, May 22, 1998
9. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-123, Management Accountability and Control, June 21, 1995
10. OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources, Transmittal 4, November 28, 2000
11. Appendix III to OMB Circular No. A-130, Security of Federal Automated Information Resources, November 28, 2000
12. GAO/AIMD-12.19.6, Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual (FISCAM), January 1999
13. CMS Business Partners System Security Manual, March 5, 2004
14. CMS Information System Security Policy, Standards and Guidelines handbook (The Handbook), version 1.2, July 19, 2004
15. CMS System Security Plan Methodology, version 3.0, November 6, 2002
16. CMS Risk Assessment Methodology, version 2.1, April 22, 2005


Appendix B

Language List
Over-the-Phone Interpretation/Written Document Translation

Acholi(Sudan-Uganda)
Afghan
Afrikaans
Akan
Albanian
Amharic (Ethiopia)
Arabic
Armenian
Ashanti
Assyrian
Azerbaijani
Bambara
Belorussian
Bengali
Bosnian
Brazil-Portuguese
Bulgarian
Burmese
Cakchiquel
Cambodian
Cantonese
Cape Verdean
Catalan
Cebuano
Chaldean
Chin
Chinese
Chuukese
Crioulo
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dari (Afghanistan)
Dinka (Sudan)
Dutch
Ebon
Edo
Estonian
Ethiopian
Ewe
Farsi
Fijian
Finnish
Flemish
Foochow
French
French Cajun
French Canadian
French Creole
Fukienese
Fulani
Fuzhou
Ga
Georgian
German
Grebo
Greek
Gujarati
Haitian Creole
Hakka
Hausa
Hawaii Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hmong
Hokkien
Hunanese
Hungarian
Ibo
Icelandic
Ilocano
Ilonggo
Indonesian
Italian
Jamican English Creole(Patois)
Japanese
Jula
Kachchi
Kanjobal
Kannada
Karen
Karenni/Kayah
Kazakh
Khmer
Kikuyu
Kinya/Rwanda
Kirundi
Korean
Krahn
Krio
Kunama
Kurdish
Kurmanji
Lanvhou
Lao
Latvian
Lingala
Lithuanian
Luganda
Luo
Maay Somali
Macedonian
Malay
Malayalam
Malinke
Mam
Mandarin
Mandingo
Mandinka
Marathi
Marshallese
Mien
Mirpuri
Mixteco
Moldovan
Mongolian
Montenegrin
Moroccan Arabic
Navajo
Ndebele
Neopolitan
Nepali
Nigerian English Pidgin
Norwegian
Nuer (Sudan)
Oromo (Ethiopia)
Pangasinan
Pashto (Afghanistan)
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Portuguese Creole
Punjabi
Quiche
Romanian
Russian
Samoan
Sarahuleh/Soninke
Serbian
Serbo-Croatian
Shanghainese
Sichuan/Szechuan
Sicilian
Sindi
Sinhalese
Slovak
Slovakian
Somali
Soninke
Sorani
Spanish
Sudanese Arabic
Susu/Soso
Swahili
Swedish
Sylheti
Taechew
Tagalog
Taiwanese
Tamil
Telegu
Thai
Tibetan
Tigrigna (Eritrea)
Toisan
Toishanese
Tongan
Trukese/Chuukese
Turkish
Twi
Ukrainian
Urdu
Uzbek
Vietnamese
Visayan
Wolof
Yiddish
Yoruba
Yugoslavian
Zande

:
7500 Security Blvd.
C2-21-15
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850
:
Charles Robert Brewer,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 4107865170
:
Debbie A Lester,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 410-786-5136
Fax: 410-786-9088