CLIENT SUCCESSES

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force  

The COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force (Task Force) was established by Executive Order 13995, Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery. The Task Force is part of the government-wide effort to identify and eliminate health and social disparities that result in disproportionately higher rates of exposure, illness, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19. The Task Force provides advice to the Secretary for HHS on recommendations and oversight on disparities in the public health and economic response to address the disproportionate and severe impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on communities of color and other underserved populations. The Task Force voting members are appointed by the President of the U.S. from among individuals who are not officers or employees of the federal government and who have expertise regarding health issues of racial and ethnic minority communities.  

 

Williams Consulting LLC is providing technical, administrative, and logistical support for the operation and function of the Task Force to include: 1) Planning for implementation of Task Force meetings, 2) Virtual meeting support, 3) Technical writing/editing for the Task Force, and 4) American Sign Language Interpretation Services. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Laboratory Support for Molecular Surveillance of Antimalarial Drug Resistant Markers

Malaria is one of the most severe global public health problems, causing an estimated 405,000 deaths in 2018. There are roughly 2,000 cases reported each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria’s (DPDM) Malaria Branch supports the DPDM mission to protect the health of individuals in the United States and around the world from parasitic diseases through evidence-based public health action. U.S. residents are at risk of infection with malaria parasites as an estimated forty-three million residents travel to malaria endemic areas. Effective measures for preventing the spread of resistant parasites is threatened as the emergence of resistant parasites increases, as well as, their resistance to rapid diagnostic tests. 

In support of this work, Williams Consulting, LLC (WCLLC) provides support for conducting molecular surveillance and training in the U.S. and strategically important partner countries. This work involves laboratory technical support for the Malaria Branch’s molecular biology laboratory.  As part of our work with the Malaria Branch, WCLLC: 

  • Provides technical support to monitor antimalarial drug resistance and immune responses to malaria parasites, and performs in vitro parasite drug sensitivity assays such as ring stage survival assay and cultivation of malaria parasites 

  • Performs molecular and immunological technical procedures for developing novel tools for the detection of malaria parasites 

  • Provides technical support for assessing the quality of diagnostic tools and perform immunological experiments to support development of novel diagnostic tools. 

  • Develops and validates new biological assay protocols and develops standard operating procedures for the rapid detection of malaria parasites  

  • Provides technical and research support for molecular and immunological surveillance studies. 

  • Use Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics analyses analysis methods and tools to support the surveillance of HRP2 deletions in parasites collected from malaria endemic countries 

  • Trains visiting scientists from partner organizations and provides support for new students on immunological methods developed in CDC/MB laboratory  

  • Trains collaborators from within CDC, domestic US and international partners on the Advanced Molecular Diagnostic (AMD) methods developed and assist on other projects relevant to malaria rapid diagnostic tests 

  • Performs quality control of laboratory assays and provide relevant training and support to study-students, fellows, and visiting scientists.   

  • Performs data analyses of all study data for dissemination and sharing with CDC AMD office and other partners as required 

  • Supports global efforts to monitor effectiveness of HRP2-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests 

  • Provides timely reporting of laboratory generated malaria parasite gene sequence and other genotype data for international and national databases according to institutional policies. 

  • Executes report writing, presentation of scientific findings, write manuscripts, and develop and provide quarterly metric reports on data generation based on the work conducted. 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acquisition of Expert Witnesses for the Administrative Hearing Process

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides funding to the States to conduct on-site inspections of nursing homes, home health agencies, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and other providers and to recommend sanctions when there is a violation of health and/or safety rules. Medicare and Medicaid Services providers are allowed to appeal any sanctions imposed in an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge. The acquisition of expert witnesses serves to advise Office of General Counsel (OGC) attorneys and provide testimony on behalf of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the administrative hearing process.  Williams Consulting LLC (WCLLC) provides acquisition services for expert witnesses for administrative hearings and technical assistance for training and educational purposes for CMS.

WCLLC’s tasks include:

  • Maintaining and building a pool of established experts across a wide variety of fields including, but not limited to geriatric nurses, clinical psychologists, dietitians, dentistry, food sanitation/safety and fire safety, geriatricians, pharmacists, social workers, and other types of physicians.  

  • Expanding and enhancing the network of experts to fill domain gaps.

  • Providing and analyzing data regarding the utilization of experts in relation to the outcomes of cases. Improving the agency’s methods for the acquisition of expert witnesses for administrative hearings

  • Improving the agency’s methods for the acquisition of expert witnesses for administrative hearings.

  • Analyzing case data, tracking case status, and providing weekly, monthly, quarterly,
    and ad-hoc reporting to CMS.

  • Hosting of the Expert Witness web application and database including automated
    workflow for OGC Attorneys to submit requests for expert witnesses for cases and
    for experts to submit payment requests to be reimbursed for time spent on casework.

  • Providing telephone and email consultation and support to existing and new experts
    and attorneys.

  • Issuing Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) between experts and CMS detailing
    case identification information and negotiated reimbursement details.

  • Providing experts with guidance on submitting invoices and related expenses.

  • Submitting expert invoices to attorney and CMS for validation and approval.

  • Processing invoices and reimbursing Experts in support of the government’s efforts,
    leveraging government funds.

 

WCLLC’s efficient/effective methods for the acquisition of expert witnesses for administrative hearings has lessened the time OGC attorneys would otherwise have to spend in finding and securing the services of an expert, allowing them to prepare a stronger case

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Affordable Care Health Insurance Casework System

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services maintains the Health Insurance Casework System, an application that serves as a casework management system for all Affordable Care Act (ACA) Federally facilitated Marketplace (FFM) health exchange Qualified Health Plans (QHP) and some non-FFM health insurance plans, including self-funded non-federal governmental plans. HICS provides the tracking and resolution of consumer complaints and issues related to the QHPs (e.g., identity verification, eligibility determinations, denials, appeals, etc.) and, reporting data on the program and QHP performance.   Williams Consulting LLC (WCLLC) provides agile software development services and subject matter expertise as a subcontractor to the project using the following tools and technology: Visual Studio, Telerik, Azure SQL, .NET, and Amazon Web Services.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) Fraud, Waste, and Abuse  

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health is responsible for the administration of the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program which provides medical monitoring and treatment of WTC-related health conditions for 9/11 responders and survivors. Williams Consulting LLC (WCLLC) as a subcontractor to the project provided subject matter expertise, technical assistance services and strategic recommendations for improving the program’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA) detection and prevention to mitigate potential FWA.

WCLLC’s support of NIOSH included:

  • Conducted WTCHP operational review in support of a fraud, waste and abuse risk analysis.

  • Co-facilitated stakeholder interviews/work groups/meetings.

  • Provided Claims Operations and Electronic Submission subject matter expertise.  

  • Conducted Fraud Information technology Solution market research.

  • Documented recommendations for best practices in fraud, waste and abuse. 

  • Recommended an FWA IT vendor based on evaluation of proposed tools and cost proposals.

 

 

Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Health (BSBHS) Health Enterprise Zone (HEZ) Patient Care Coordination Transformation

BSBHS was the lead hospital system responsible for administering the West Baltimore HEZ as part of the statewide HEZ initiative administered by the Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) focused on reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations and among geographic areas; improving health care access and health outcomes in underserved communities; and reducing health care costs and hospital admissions and re-admissions.  Williams Consulting LLC (WCLLC) provided Health Disparities SME, program management, evaluation, strategic advisory and planning support, Health IT support, and technical assistance to the West Baltimore HEZ.

 

WCLLC’s support of BSBHS included: 

  • Designing and implementing a pilot across multiple hospitals to test care coordination program with the goals of: 1) reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations, 2) improving health care access and health outcomes in underserved communities and, 3) reducing healthcare costs and hospital admissions and re-admissions.

  • Developing and implementing a data strategy for using the CRISP regional health information exchange data to analyze population health program data.

  • Reviewing and assessing HEZ program operations and artifacts against the HEZ legislative mandate and state grant requirements and identified gaps and opportunities for improvement.

  • Working with HEZ leadership and stakeholders (Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Community Health Resources Commission, Six Maryland Hospitals, and multiple IT and service vendors) to implement program improvements

  • Providing grants management and administrative support of a scholarship program.

  • Advising Bon Secours on planned program strategies, stakeholder management and HEZ program governance

  • Working with Data Collection and Evaluation Team and software vendors to ensure the implementation of proposed IT software/mobile applications with a focus on security, reliability and scalability


 

Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Community Health Needs Assessment

Williams Consulting LLC (WCLLC) provided Health Disparities SME, project management, research, outreach and technical assistance services to support Bon Secours Baltimore Health System’s completion of the Federally mandated Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).
 

WCLLC’s support of BSBHS included: 

  • Developed and maintained a project plan detailing the critical milestones, tasks and deliverables required bringing Bon Secours in compliance with ACA CHNA requirements.

  • Developed and implemented the data collection approach. 

  • Conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders to include city and state health department representatives, community leaders, and health care providers with a special knowledge of, or expertise in public health and the medically underserved, low-income and minority populations with chronic disease needs. 

  • Conducted targeted focus groups meetings with key groups within the community. 

  • Performed secondary data collection and analyzed available quantitative and qualitative data.

  • Developed a strategy for identifying, and recruiting Advisory Board members to include patient advocates and representatives from the provider community. Facilitated multiple Advisory Board meetings to review the Community Health Needs Assessment findings, and to prioritize and make recommendations. 

  • Prepared formal CHNA report and Implementation Strategy for publication identifying the significant health needs of the community, and proposed strategy for addressing those health needs. 

 

Working in collaboration with BSBHS leadership, WCLLC engaged the community around the hospital in a process that culminated in an agreed-upon vision of for an improved healthcare system and thus, a healthier community, and a plan to achieve the vision.