A Summer of (Contracting) Opportunity
Healthcare Information Technology (“HIT”) contractors are sure to be busy this summer, with the release of two new large-scale opportunities: the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) Medical Appointment Scheduling System (“MASS”) and the Department of Defense (“DoD”) Healthcare Management System Modernization (“DHMSM”).
The VA is seeking a new scheduling system for its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (“VistA”) Electronic Health Records (“EHR”). VistA is an electronic information service that enables clinical care delivery throughout the VA health system. More specifically, it provides an integrated inpatient and outpatient electronic health record for VA patients, as well as administrative tools to help the VA deliver medical care to Veterans. In light of recently unveiled scheduling challenges, the VA’s MASS module will replace the legacy outpatient system solution to provide more efficient access to care for Veterans, including outpatient medical appointment scheduling capabilities. The current system, which was developed back in the 80’s, was designed as an inpatient care scheduling system with few embedded clinical delivery business rules. As a replacement, the VA is in search of a customized commercial solution to function as a module within the VA’s current VistA EHR platform. Ideally, the new scheduling system will be awarded by the end of GFY2014 and will be in place and functioning by the end of GFY2015. Successfully developed systems and interoperability capabilities are anticipated to create the desire for additional efficiencies and shared capabilities, which in turn will generate business opportunities for contractors in the HIT marketplace.
By the end of July, the DoD is expected to release its final RFP for its modernized electronic health record system, known as DHMSM. This $11 billion project is expected to track the medical and dental care of nearly 10 million active duty military personnel and their dependents. Ultimately, the system should be interoperable with the VA’s VistA EHR system and its new scheduling modules, as well as compatible with other leading private-sector systems. The new system is expected to be fully operational by 2017.
As discussed previously in the posts Healthcare Contracts Acquisition Analysis and Winning the “Must-Have” Contract Vehicles: Insight from Recent Procurement Trends, the ability to secure work within well-funded and growing agencies, vehicles, and programs positions a company for future growth within a sector. The VA, which is known as one of the leaders in delivering IT capabilities, is expected to deliver new efficiencies, methods, and best practices for scheduling systems as a result of this commercial module. Additionally, the new MASS module, DHMSM system, and interoperability between the two could create added opportunities for HIT contractors, not only at the VA and DoD, but also within other healthcare agencies. Association with such institutions and projects broadens the potential for future opportunities for contractors, be it continued growth, sustainment, or exit opportunities.