HHS extends due date on health net proposals

NHIN contract amendment extending due date

The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the due date for proposals on development of prototypes for a National Health Information Network (NHIN) until July 19.

Dr. David Brailer, national coordinator for health information technology, indicated that HHS had some wiggle room on due dates for NHIN bids in a conference call with vendors last month.

Brailer said that the NHIN would be funded from the 2006 HHS budget, unlike other requests for proposals HHS issued last month for development of health IT standards, certification and a privacy and policy consulting contract.

Those contracts, Brailer said in a conference call with bidders, will be funded from the HHS 2005 budget, and bidders needed to meet the July 7 proposal deadline so that HHS could make awards on or before Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Brailer said he anticipated HHS will award the six NHIN contracts in early October.

About 200 companies have formally indicated an interest in bidding on the NHIN prototype contracts on a list available on the NHIN contract Web page, with close to two-thirds of them small, veteran owned or disadvantaged businesses competing for the one NHIN set aside.

Major systems integrators and federal contractors on that list include Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. and FCW has reported that Computer Sciences Corp., EDS, Northrop Grumman Corp. and Perot Systems also plan NHIN bids.

Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. both registered on the NHIN interested contractor list, along with the health information systems divisions of 3M Corp., Eastman Kodak Co. and InterSystems Corp., which supports the Veterans Affairs Department’s existing electronic health record (EHR) system and Siemens Medical Solutions, a global EHR powerhouse, also registered on the NHIN potential bidder page.

Smaller and state focused bids are planned by the National Center for Health Care Informatics, which FCW has reported plans to craft its NHIN prototype around a Montana network and the Maine Health Information Center. James Harner, president of Maine Health, indicated in the NHIN conference call his non-profit plans a bid.

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