Two agencies teaming up to combat fraud in veterans healthcare

In today's Federal Newscast, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have formed a new partnership to uncover potentia...

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  • The Department of Veterans Affairs, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have formed a new partnership to uncover potential waste, fraud and abuse among veteran health providers. The two agencies will set up their first Medicare Sanction data exchange by the end of the year. The goal is to use CMS data analytics programs to find abusive billing practices, improper prescribing practices and other problems with VA and community health providers. CMS will perform these checks of VA providers against their own enrollment data throughout the year. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • Agencies will soon have more nuanced options of ranking the sensitivity of their datasets, before sharing them out to others. Chief Statistician Nancy Potok said the Office Management and Budget will soon release guidance, for agencies to provide tiered access to their data, based on the sensitivity of that information. The OMB guidance stems from the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act the president signed in January. (Federal News Network)
  • The General Services Administration is giving industry more time to put together their bids to provide the government with an e-commerce platform. GSA announced a two-week extension with proposals now due Nov. 15. GSA received more than 70 questions about the request and only posted the answers after the initial due date on Oct. 25, the day after the initial due date. (General Services Administration)
  • A group of six Democrats said they’re deeply concerned by the recent inspector general findings on VA’s accountability office. Senate VA Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and five others have posed over two pages of questions about the accountability office to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. The senators said the IG findings are especially disturbing because they cover nearly every aspect of the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. A bipartisan group of members on the House VA Committee expressed similar concerns at a hearing on this office this week. (Federal News Network)
  • The acting Department of Homeland Security secretary is set to leave government service Thursday, and it’s still unclear who will replace him. Kevin McAleenan announced his departure from DHS earlier this month, but the White House still hasn’t announced a succession plan. Most of the department’s other Senate-confirmed roles are also filled by acting officials. McAleenan told a House committee yesterday he was committed to making sure there was an orderly transition in DHS leadership, but said he couldn’t elaborate on any plans the administration might have, because they’re “predecisional.” (Federal News Network)
  • In new exclusive details, Federal News Network learned the Defense Innovation Unit will try to incorporate five transformative projects into its portfolio annually. The projects will have the potential to protect lives or save substantial amounts of money, while also being utilized across the services. DIU is already undertaking some projects it’s deemed transformative. They include predictive maintenance and network protection technologies. (Federal News Network)
  • The Air Force needs to do a better job at buying and developing the software it uses to facilitate work done by satellites. The Government Accountability Office said previous attempts by the service to create software that responds to threats like jamming attacks and space debris have fallen short. GAO said the Air Force needs to develop a comprehensive acquisition strategy for its upcoming space command and control program to keep it from falling behind schedule and going above cost. (Government Accountability Office)
  • Enlisted airmen who have been in the service for 12 years or more will see changes to their re-enlistment contracts starting in mid-November. Contracts will eliminate the need to re-enlist and will align separation dates with an airman’s maximum time he or she can serve in a rank. Selective retention bonuses will not be impacted by the change. Airmen may apply to leave the service before their maximum separation date by giving a six month notice. (Air Force)
  • DoD is almost ready to release its plans to shake-up how it buys products and services. Before the end of calendar year 2019, Defense acquisition professionals and industry will get their first look at the Pentagon’s new approach to procurement. Stacy Cummings, the DoD’s principal deputy assistant secretary for Acquisition Enablers, said the military will begin testing the initial iteration of the adaptive acquisition framework. The new approach rewrites the DoD 5000 series, reduces the total number of pages from 200 to 20, and outlines six pathways for buying. DoD also plans on asking Congress for permission to change the way they fund software development in 2021 as part of this acquisition revamp.
  • DLT Solutions, a value added reseller focused on the federal technology market, is being acquired by Tech Data to create a behemoth VAR. DLT will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tech Data when the acquisition closes in January 2020. In fiscal 2018, DLT Solutions won more than $360 million in federal sales. Tech Data won less than $5 million in federal sales in 2018, according to the USA Spending portal. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Tech Data)
  • Two House Democrats have revisited a plan to allow the Postal Service to offer banking services at more than 35,000 post offices. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) have urged the Postal Service and the Federal Reserve to work together, to provide electronic money transfers to under-banked communities. The lawmakers point to a USPS inspector general report, that found the Postal Service could gain a $1 billion in additional revenue over five years by offering these services. (Rep. Bill Pascrell)

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