Medsphere Voices Support for Sweeping Changes to Government IT Purchasing

Press Release | Medsphere Systems Corporation | April 3, 2013

Technology Reform Act could be most significant change to federal tech acquisition in more than 20 years

Carlsbad, Calif.—Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of affordable and interoperable healthcare IT platform solutions, today issued a public statement of support for the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Act (FITAR) . The House legislation (H.R. 1232), jointly sponsored by California Republican Darrell Issa and Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, recently moved with unanimous bipartisan support from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to the floor for a full vote.

If passed, FITAR would essentially prompt federal agencies to behave more like their private-sector counterparts by altering agency purchasing evaluation criteria to include fixed-price technical competition and open-source software as a “commercial item” in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The bill would also limit federal agencies to one chief information officer (some currently have multiple), make the position a presidential appointee and increase budgeting power for CIOs within their agencies.

“Rep. Issa’s proposed legislation is good government because it empowers individuals to make decisions that improve efficiencies and save tax dollars,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald . “Private sector CIOs have to manage their IT budgets and they can choose systems that make the most technological and financial sense. Although strong opposition to the proposed legislation surfaced early among industry trade groups who benefit from the status quo, leaders in government IT have the responsibility and should also have the flexibility to do what’s best for the American taxpayer.”

According to estimates by Chairman Issa’s Government Reform Committee, FITAR could enable federal agencies to turn $20 billion normally spent on obsolete and ineffective IT into $200 billion focused on eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.

“Accomplishing major reform will not be easy,” Issa said in House testimony. “But streamlining our obsolete approach to federal IT needs to be at the heart of our effort to protect taxpayer dollars from further waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.”

Click here to read more about FITAR.

About Medsphere and OpenVista

Founded in 2002 and based in Carlsbad, Calif., Medsphere Systems Corporation is an award-winning organization of clinical and technology professionals working to make quality health IT solutions accessible to organizations of virtually any size, shape or budget. Medsphere’s OpenVista® is a portfolio of clinical support products and professional services that leverages an electronic health record (EHR) system developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This VistA EHR is widely credited with helping transform the VA into the nation's most efficient and clinically effective healthcare organization. OpenVista, the most fully commercialized VistA offspring, is a responsible reapplication of the VA’s $8.5 billion investment, which recent studies show have yielded $3.09 billion in benefits, primarily from the near elimination of medication administration issues and duplicate testing. 

Medsphere’s subscription-based pricing model enables hospital, clinic and integrated delivery network customers to pay for OpenVista from their operating budget with no upfront costs or back-end balloon payments. Expert implementation and other services facilitate fluid and rapid transition to a paperless clinical environment focusing on best practices and evidence-based medicine in six to nine months. Medsphere also actively nurtures the Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem, a global community of customers, partners, developers and other online collaborators who drive OpenVista innovation, and provide a parallel development and support structure.