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CER-Public Use Data Pilot Project

This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number:
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Location: Office of Acquisition and Grants Management
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Award Notice
June 2, 2010
Impaq International, LLC
10420 Little Patuxent Parkway
Suite 300

Columbia, Maryland 21044
United States
Added: Jun 03, 2010 9:49 am

Recovery Act-Funded Contract Action

Identification of OPDIV/Contracting Activity: OAGM/AGG/DRCG

Title: CMS Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Public Use Data Pilot Project
Contract Type: Cost Plus Fixed-Fee
Contractors: XRAD Task Order Contractors
Period of Performance: Two (2) Years from Date of Award

Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Chris Haffer, ORDI

I. Authority

This contract is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, (Recovery Act, P.L. 111-5) which specifies, "To the maximum extent practicable, contracts funded under this Act shall be awarded as fixed-price contracts through the use of competitive procedures."
II. This contract action is competitive.
__X__ Yes
_____ Not Available for Competition. This action is statutorily exempt from competition, e.g., noncompetitive 8(a) set-aside, Tribal agreements (for IHS only), mandatory source.
_____ No As appropriate, please attach a copy of (1) the Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC); (2) the Limited Source Justification (LSJ); (3) documentation of Exception to the Fair Opportunity Process (under FAR 16.505(b)(5)); or (4) for simplified acquisitions, a brief description of the circumstances which justify not competing, signed by the contracting officer.
III. This contract action is fixed price.
_____ Yes
___X_ No

Specificity/nature of requirement (risk and profit):

Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) is designed to compare different interventions to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions. These interventions may include medications, procedures, medical and assistive devices and technologies, behavioral change strategies, delivery system interventions, and the like. This information can be used to develop practice guidelines and other methods to promote informed health care decision-making. Armed with this information, health care providers and beneficiaries can select treatments that are most likely to lead to improved health and functioning. As providers and patients are able to focus on treatments that are more effective, we also expect to see program savings over time.
As a by-product of administering the Medicare program, CMS maintains one of the most comprehensive administrative data resources anywhere to support such applications. We have claims data for all fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries (about 80% of the Medicare population) for different settings and types of care, including: inpatient and outpatient hospital, skilled nursing facilities, home health, hospice, physicians/suppliers, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs. To date, researchers need to pay CMS a recovery-of-cost fee to generate files from the data repository. For many researchers this fee represents a significant barrier to being able to obtain the data needed to conduct CER.
The purpose of this project is to increase access to CMS claims data through the creation of public use data and to determine a method of providing public access to these data which is useful to researchers and data entrepreneurs, while continuing to strictly protect beneficiary and provider confidentiality.
This activity is being conducted for the first time. These requirements are being developed and implemented de novo. There is no precedent or prior work on which to model this activity. This is technically and scientifically complex activity which will require an unknown number of iterations of the activity to ensure the production of high value data, in a rapid manner, while adhering to the highest level of beneficiary and provider protection.
Monitoring and Cost Control
CMS has always utilized a significant degree of cost control over contracts that are not conducive to fixed pricing arrangements. This has been possible because of the vast knowledge and experience within the Office of Research Demonstrations and Information regarding Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP research programs. In addition, OAGM proposes to compete this acquisition utilizing the XRAD (6 small business contractors) Task Order Contracts. This acquisition approach combines the knowledge and experience of CMS' technical program acumen and the vast experience of our contractor community with CMS programs and goals. This partnering relationship permits the most efficient use of CMS funds, promotes efficiencies and costs savings, and quickly facilitates the identification and resolution of problems. Although the above considerations are positive the very nature of research projects has demonstrated that projected results at the start of a project are subject to varying circumstances, most notably the enactment of new legislation and/or regulations that may govern the nature of the final requirement. In addition to the above concerns with determining a sound basis for developing a scope of work that would be conducive to fixed price contracting environment, the following price and technical issues also adversely affect that process.
Although a fixed price contract is desirable in that the contractor assumes the risk for performance, the CMS must consider the potential financial and performance risk to the contractor under these highly visible ARRA programs.
A firm-fixed price contract is suitable when reasonable definitive functional or detailed specifications exist, and the contracting officer can establish fair and reasonable prices based on the following considerations:
• there is adequate price competition
• there are reasonable price comparisons under prior purchases of the same or similar services on a competitive basis supported by valid pricing data
• available pricing information permits realistic estimates of probable cost of, and
• performance uncertainties can be identified and reasonable estimates of their cost impact can be made.

As stated above, this activity is being competed for the first time. Therefore, there are no prior competitive actions to support the establishment of fair and reasonable pricing data.

IV. If this contract action is not both fixed price and competitive, describe any additional steps taken to pursue a fixed priced competitive award (e.g., prepared more precise requirements documents; established more stringent review thresholds; expanded market research). No additional steps were taken to pursue a fixed price award.

V. Determination:
Based upon the findings, it is the determination of the government that a Cost Plus Fixed-Fee award enhances the degree of potential successful performance and promotes the potential of competition from the XRAD contractors that could not absorb the risk of a fixed-price award.
The HCA (or a GS-1102-15 or higher designee) certifies that a fixed price award is not appropriate (considering contract risk, profit, and specificity/nature of requirement).

7500 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850
Edward Cooney
Phone: 4107866485