3 congressmen seek GAO review of $10.2M COVID-19 TeleTracking contract 

Jackie Drees - Print  | 

Three House Democrats are asking the Government Accounting Office to formally review the $10.2 million contract awarded TeleTracking Technologies for oversight of the country's COVID-19 hospital-reporting data, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. 

An Aug. 19 letter signed by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., Health Committee chair Anna Eshoo and Oversight and Investigations subcommittee chair Diana DeGette, calls for an investigation of changes HHS made to hospital COVID-19 data-reporting requirements as a result of the contract awarding to TeleTracking in April. 

TeleTracking has refused to disclose information about its data collection and sharing process to Senate Democrats,citing  a nondisclosure agreement the company signed with its $10.2 million contract with HHS to develop the agency's coronavirus data-collection portal.

TeleTracking sent a letter to the senators saying it would not provide information they requested about its data-sharing processes or communications with the White House, according to The New York Times

Questions about the contract and the data-tracking program have come up in the last several weeks as well as concerns about administrative burdens the new reporting requirements have placed on hospitals and the transparency of the new data system, according to the report. 

The federal government awarded TeleTracking the contract on March 27 to provide a portal for hospitals to report COVID-19 data. On July 10, HHS changed its reporting guidance and directed hospitals to bypass the CDC and begin sending data through the state or its new HHS system, managed by TeleTracking. 

“Unfortunately, the Trump administration continues to undermine COVID-19 response efforts by sidelining scientific and public health experts and threatening the quality of COVID-19-related data,” the House Democrats' letter to the GAO stated. “[HHS'] introduction of new and potentially duplicative hospital capacity-reporting requirements is yet another example of this concerning trend." 

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