NITAAC Supports Wide Spectrum of Health IT Requirements Across Government
When Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials designated the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as the executive agent for the CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business GWACs, they recognized that these contracts would play a key role in supporting the health-IT related requirements of federal agencies. “The programmatic expertise of NIH’s in-house scientists and medical experts will provide strong support for the award and management of its contracts,” Jeffrey Zients, Acting OMB Director, wrote in an August 26, 2010, letter to Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.).
“A good portion of our vendors have remained with us from CIO-SP2, because of their proven expertise in operating and serving our customers in HHS, NIH, VA, and other agencies that have a need for health-IT related solutions.”
Mary Armstead, NITAAC Program Director
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and NIH rely heavily on CIO-SP3 for IT services and solutions. But many other federal agencies, including the departments of Defense (DOD), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Homeland Security (DHS), also have significant responsibilities that require help from companies with health and medical related experience and expertise. These agencies can also tap into CIO-SP3 to address their requirements. “The fact that federal agencies have a vehicle they can turn to that explicitly addresses the Federal Health Architecture is a great benefit for agencies, including DOD and the VA, who are making a lot of progress with electronic health records,” said Ray Bjorklund, Vice President and Chief Knowledge Officer with the research and consulting firm Deltek.
In creating CIO-SP3, NITAAC officials consulted with CIOs, directors of biomedical programs, and other experts within HHS and NIH, said Mary Armstead, NITAAC Program Director. “They helped shape the solicitationfor the resulting contracts.”
Top Performing Contract Holders
“Every company on CIO-SP3 had to show that it could perform on all health IT environments in government,” said Robert Coen, NITAAC Deputy Program Director. These capabilities are described in Task Area 1 of the contract, “IT Services for Biomedical Research, Health Science, and Healthcare,” which includes studies, analyses, and operational, technical, and maintenance services for the systems, subsystems, and equipment related to biomedical research, health science, and healthcare. Many of these systems are connected with IT systems throughout the federal government and require expertise in the Federal Health Enterprise Architecture, Federal Enterprise Architecture, and DOD Enterprise Architecture.
“A good portion of our vendors have remained with us since the award of CIO-SP2i,” Armstead said, “because of their proven expertise in operating and serving our customers in HHS, NIH, VA, and other agencies that have a need for health-IT related solutions.”
A Wide Range of Health IT Projects
Agencies have issued task orders through the NITAAC GWACs to obtain a variety of health-related services and solutions. For example:
• The NIH National Cancer Institute awarded a five-year, $36.9 million task order to Harris Technical Services Corp. to provide comprehensive clinical data management for the National Cancer Institute intramural clinical trials program.
• The VA awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a three-year, $51 million task order for Information Assurance and IT Security Support Services to provide essential security and risk management services to VA to maintain compliance with federal mandates, provide mission-critical services, and maintain the trust of the public and veteran community in the quality of VA services and business operations.
• The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded Lockheed Martin a seven and one-half year, $401 million Consolidated Information Technology Infrastructure Contract (CITIC) to provide agency-wide IT and infrastructure support services.
• The U.S. Air Force awarded Force 3 Inc. a four-year, $13.7 million contract through the ECS III program to provide a digital dental imaging enterprise solution for its Digital Dental Radiography Solution Program.
NITAAC officials expect spending for federal health IT projects to continue growing. Healthcare will remain a top priority even as specific administration policies evolve and Congress passes new legislation. Diane Frasier, Director of the NIH Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management and Head of the Contracting Activity, said NIH organizations have been very happy with the NITAAC contracts.
“It is very important for NIH to have a vehicle in place which meets our information technology requirements, especially as we see how information technology has contributed to the advancement of scientific research,” Frasier said.