Health IT

No protests in DOD electronic health record award

Shutterstock image: digital, global health.

The deadline for protesting the Pentagon's multi-billion electronic health record contract award has passed, and none of the also-rans have filed, according to a Department of Defense spokesperson.

DOD announced that the team of Leidos, Cerner, and Accenture won the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract on July 29. The DHMSM program has the potential to cost about $9 billion over its lifecycle.

Going into the award, the team of IBM and Epic was considered the odds-on favorite to win. Epic is the U.S. market leader in health records, with about a 65 percent share. IBM added a set of big data services for clinical care, based on its Watson supercomputer. A team including health record vendor Allscripts alongside Hewlett Packard and Computer Sciences Corp. was also in the mix.

"After receiving a debrief from the government and careful consideration, CSC's Global Health Alliance did not protest the DHMSM award. CSC is a longstanding partner to the Department of Defense and strong supporter of military personnel and their families. As such, we wish the program much success and will move forward focused on the future," CSC spokesperson Carol Meyers said in an emailed statement to FCW.

IBM declined to comment.

Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters on a press call that the Pentagon was in a good position to weather any protests to the award.

"The thing that you have to do to -- first of all, successfully [to] survive a protest are to follow the rules that you put in place, and then to document that you did so. And I think in this program, we've done that very well," Kendall said. "The other thing, though, I think will be clear, there was -- although we had very viable bidders at the end, there's a clear best-value solution, here, for us. And I think that will be clear to the people that were not selected. So, I'm hoping there won't be a protest, but if there is, we're prepared to deal with it."

Program Manager Chris Miller said in comments at a DHMSM industry day in June 2014 that time for protests had been built into the process. In the absence of protests, DoD will move to begin fielding and testing the software. The initial deployment will reach eight facilities in the Pacific Northwest. It is expected to take several years for the software to be installed at more than 1,000 sites.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

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