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Anticipating Unintended Consequences of Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange

This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number: OS25788
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Program Support Center
Location: Division of Acquisition Management
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Added: Jan 22, 2010 3:14 pm

The purpose of this contract is to create a mechanism to consider and address the undesirable and potentially harmful unintended consequences of activities supported by ONC in coordination with other Federal agencies, including activities related to meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology. The goal is to avoid, mitigate, and track undesirable unintended consequences. To the extent possible, the intent of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is to implement programs that enormously improve the quality and efficiency of health care. But good intentions are often not enough. This contract honors the ancient injunction to physicians, “First, do no harm.”

On February 17, 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and specifically Title XIII, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, established by law the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) within the Department of Health and Human Services. This project will be funded from ARRA funds Congress appropriated to support the activities of the ONC under HITECH.

The National Coordinator bears the obligation to undertake activities “consistent with the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information” and that will, within a secure and protected environment --

• Improve quality, reduce errors and health disparities, and advance patient-centered health care;

• Reduce costs resulting from inefficiency, errors, inappropriate or duplicative care, and Incomplete information;

• Provide information to guide treatments decisions at the point of care;

• Improve coordination among hospitals, laboratories, physician offices and other entities;

• Improve public health and the rapid response to threats and emergencies, including bioterrror and infectious disease outbreaks;

• Facilitate research;

• Promote early detection, prevention, and management of chronic diseases; and

• Promote a more effective marketplace, greater competition, greater systems analysis, increased consumer choice, and improved health care outcomes.

Toward these ends, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has taken steps to provide financial incentives to physicians and hospitals for adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology that has the capacity to provide clinical decision support and computerized provider order entry, among many other features. DHHS has also taken steps toward creation of a nationwide health information infrastructure, including a governance mechanism; certification of EHR technology; creation of state health exchanges; enhanced privacy and security measures; and improved means of communication between patients and their caregivers, among other activities.

While we expect for these programs to help achieve the many desirable outcomes envisioned by Congress, a sense of responsibility for activities we support, historical experience, as well as mounting evidence of unexpected problems, demand that we consider potential downsides.

Over the duration of this contract, we will create and support a panel of experts and related work groups to identify and explore potentially undesirable or harmful “unintended consequences.” By “unintended consequences” we mean outcomes that are not intended, even though, upon investigation and reflection, they are, at least in part, a natural consequence of the activities. While some unintended consequences are desirable, the purpose of this contract is to identify and address those that are undesirable and potentially harmful.

An award for Competitive RFTOP OS25788 will be made from the Program Support Center Task Order Contracts. All of the PSC Task Order Contractors received notification of the requirement. If you were not awarded a PSC Task Order Contract you can not be considered for an award as the prime contractor for this requirement. However, there may be subcontracting opportunities. If you are interested in subcontracting with one of the PSC Task Order Contractors, you must contact the PSC Task Order Contractors. The list of PSC Contractors is posted on FEBIZOPPS (web-address below). Once you reach the webpage, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the hyperlink entitled Contract list xls.

Parklawn Building Room 5-101
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Allison C Ford,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 301-443-0101
Fax: 301-443-1004