The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a formal request for proposals (RFP) for its mega multi-billion dollar electronic health record (EHR) modernization project, which already has been the source of heated competition by various major industry vendors.
The DoD says it is aiming to select the winner in the third quarter of fiscal 2015. It plans to have the final, modernized systems in place by the end of 2016.
The RFP, announced this week, outlines the DoD's efforts to replace its legacy healthcare systems, including the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA), Composite Health Care System (CHCS) (inpatient), and most components of the Theater Medical Information Program-Joint (TMIP-J). When finished, the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM) project will aim to support medical readiness for DoD’s military personnel and support the department’s current population of more than 9.6 million beneficiaries and over 153,000 Military Health System personnel.
The RFP itself took 11 months to complete, the DoD says. The agency took more than 1,500 questions/comments from the healthcare IT industry in anticipation of creating the RFP.
"We exposed industry early and often to our requirements development process through a series of industry days, draft RFPs, and targeted Requests for Information," program manager Navy Capt. John Windom said in a letter that accompanied the RFP. "We appreciated industry's timely input and related comments/questions throughout our iterative draft RFP release process."
The RFP’s integral component, according to the DoD, is interoperability. Whoever wins this contract will have to integrate the DoD’s systems with the systems from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well as civilian health systems.
Several of the biggest vendors in the industry, including Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts, are slated to submit bids. All three companies have teamed with traditional government contractors, IBM, Leidos, and CSC respectively, as well as other niche companies, to join them in the bidding process. The forming of these collaborations infers that the DHMSM is seen as one of the most prized contracts in the industry.