Science & Technology

Long, Hot Summer Angling for Military Health Records Contract

Distributors could possibly be spending a busy summer season getting ready to reply to a serious federal info know-how mission. The U.S. Protection Division is planning to challenge a request for bids on a multibillion greenback digital well being data, or EHR, system by the top of September.

Long, Hot Summer Angling for Military Health Records Contract

The division issued its third draft of a Request for Proposals to trade early final month, performed a briefing for distributors later in June and acquired responses to the draft earlier this month.

The target of this system is to modernize DoD’s EHR system and to make data accessible to the Division of Veterans Affairs, in addition to to non-public medical suppliers. The purpose of the deliberate system is to enhance the standard of care from a medical standpoint, whereas contributing to the seamless motion of medical data amongst key care suppliers. DoD has titled the mission the “Protection Healthcare Administration System Modernization Program,” or DHMSM.

DoD has formed the contracting course of to make sure that the mission is nicely outlined and correctly managed from the beginning, and it has sought suggestions from the seller neighborhood and different well being IT specialists. That accounts for the three draft RFPs, the conferences with distributors, and consultations with Kaiser Permanente Intermountain Health and different healthcare organizations. This deliberative strategy may assist DoD keep away from the pitfalls of the ill-managed Reasonably priced Care Act launch.

Competing Distributors Lining Up

Evidently, distributors have been energetic within the mission improvement course of by attending the conferences, offering suggestions, and firing questions at DoD on scope, know-how points and contracting provisions.

Competitors could possibly be fierce. It’s uncommon for potential contract bidders to publicize their participation in federal contracts previous to award of the enterprise. Nevertheless, IBM lately introduced that it was becoming a member of with healthcare IT agency Epic to submit a joint bid for the DHMSM enterprise.

IBM and Epic have complementary strengths, in addition to monitor data of finishing profitable on-time, on-budget tasks for massive multiregional healthcare organizations that match the Military Health System in dimension and mission scope, the businesses identified.

“This is a vital alternative for the MHS Health System, and we have been planning for greater than a yr to assist it. With the elevated scrutiny on IT tasks in authorities, we expect planning, testing and validating, like we have undertaken for DHMSM, is a vital instance of how distributors may be a part of the answer,” Andy Maner, managing associate of IBM U.S. Federal, informed the E-Commerce Instances.

“The announcement was a approach for IBM to present discover {that a} very sturdy contender was within the area and set the bar excessive for any potential rivals to satisfy. IBM’s capabilities for scale, mixed with Epic’s well being IT assets, are formidable for this mission,” Scott Lundstrom, group vice chairman and common supervisor at IDC Monetary, Authorities and Health Insights, informed the E-Commerce Instances.

Different distributors are unlikely to be deterred by IBM’s transfer.

“There could also be solely three or 4 potential mixtures of groups to compete right here, and the competitors shall be sturdy. Epic, Cerner, Siemens and GE, in addition to IBM, Accenture, CSC and PWC, are in all probability the core gamers,” mentioned Lundstrom.

For instance, Accenture is teaming with Leidos and Cerner on the DHMSM mission.

“Accenture’s international management in healthcare IT, our historical past of profitable shopper supply within the federal market, our current acquisition of ASM Analysis, and our persevering with work on the Federally Facilitated Market make us nicely suited to assist the DoD with this essential initiative,” Accenture spokesperson Joanne Veto informed the E-Commerce Instances.

“Leidos Health, Accenture and Cerner are uniquely and competitively positioned to offer the DoD and the hundreds of thousands of army beneficiaries who will use the DHMSM system an answer that delivers best-value and lowest-risk,” Melissa Koskovich, company spokesperson at
Leidos, informed the E-Commerce Instances.

Contract Specs Characteristic COTS

Coordination with the IT neighborhood on the mission has been a serious DoD concern.

“Soliciting trade enter is a vital part of our acquisition technique for the DHMSM program, and we have put important effort right into a clear, sustained dialogue with trade,” Maureen Schumann, DoD’s mission spokesperson, informed the E-Commerce Instances.

The DHMSM mission shall be a single-award contract to a single vendor using indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) provisions, with a mix of price and fixed-price contract line objects. Bidders in search of to be the prime contractor are usually not restricted of their partnerships or subcontracting preparations.

One of many key aims of the DHMSM acquisition is to acquire business off-the shelf options (COTS) which can be primarily based on an open methods design, permitting for the answer to be adaptable, upgradable, extensible and reconfigurable.

The software program will need to have clearly outlined interfaces which can be open and assist interoperability. Whereas independently managed by DoD, the ultimate product may have a linkage to the Reasonably priced Care Act. The DHMSM mission should be compliant with the newest nationwide knowledge requirements for interoperability set out by the Workplace of Nationwide Coordinator on well being info change on the Division of Health and Human Companies.

Estimates of the price of this system have been reported as excessive as US$11 billion, though DoD at the moment is updating the fee estimate, Schumann mentioned.

“The contract shall be a multibillion greenback award and can embody ordering provisions for a most of 10 years,” she mentioned, “if all elective ordering intervals are exercised.”

DoD’s deliberative course of and coordination with the personal sector in mission improvement has been useful to the seller neighborhood, in response to IBM’s Maner.

“The method has been extraordinarily nicely run, and trade has been actively engaged in offering suggestions,” he mentioned.

The mission will not be the primary try for DoD and VA to cooperate on EHRs. The businesses canceled an earlier try to create a single, joint EHR because of incompatibility points. With the DHMSM program, DoD now will exchange the present Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Know-how Software file program.

For its half, VA will modernize its present VistA well being info system. Every division will embody interoperability features designed to satisfy the seamless connection purpose.

The Obama administration has cautioned businesses towards launching massive, costly, one-shot IT tasks, as an alternative favoring incremental or modular tasks that may be corrected and adjusted as wanted. Nevertheless, DoD’s mission would not match the large program mode.

“We’re conscious of these issues for large, developmental IT tasks, however we expect that through the use of business off the shelf assets we’re not in that class and may have the mandatory agility for this program,” mission director Chris Miller informed the E-Commerce Instances.

The ultimate RFP ought to be issued by Sept. 30, and distributors may have so long as six weeks to reply, Miller mentioned. Analysis of bids may take months, with a contract award potential by mid-2015.

Miller wouldn’t affirm particular price estimates as excessive as $11 billion.

“That determine embraces a broader life cycle associated to army well being IT, however we anticipate the DHMSM shall be a multibillion mission,” he mentioned, noting that 4 to 6 groups of bidders are anticipated to compete for the contract.
Long, Hot Summer Angling for Military Health Records Contract

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