Tech Firms Vie For $11 Billion Military Healthcare Contract As Deadline Looms

Mohana Ravindranath | The Washington Post | October 19, 2014

As the deadline for bids on a coveted Defense Department contract approaches, teams of technology giants — including IBM and Hewlett-Packard — are competing to modernize the military’s electronic health records.  In the next several months, the Defense Department plans to select a team for an up-to-10-year contract, valued at an estimated $11 billion. The awardee would be tasked with revamping the department’s health IT system — covering more than 6 million veterans and 9 million active-duty service members — so that patient records are easily transferable between military treatment locations, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and outside health systems. The Defense Department plans to begin testing and putting the system in place over the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

For bidders, the Oct. 31 deadline is a race to differentiate their proposals from competitors’.  The Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract — called “dim-sum” — is among the largest some of these companies have pursued. Teams jointly bidding include IBM and Epic; Leidos, Cerner and Accenture Federal Services; Computer Sciences Corp., Hewlett-Packard and AllScripts; and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, DSS, MedSphere and General Dynamics Information Technology.

Reston-based defense technology contractor Leidos is partnering with Kansas City, Mo.-based health information technology company Cerner and Accenture’s federal consulting subsidiary to sell a record system whose biggest strength is its “open-architecture” — software designed to communicate with existing electronic health record systems, according to the team.  Cerner has set up more than 20 health information exchanges — electronic health record software that bridges disparate health systems — in several states, according to Travis Dalton, Cerner’s vice president and general manager of federal.  “That tool-set will allow us to connect these entities,” though at a much larger scale, Dalton said...