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Recovery - Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC)

This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number: ARRA-CMS-2010-001DRCG
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
April 1, 2010
University of Minnesota
200 Oak Street SE., Suite 450

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455-2070
United States
Added: Apr 01, 2010 4:15 pm

Recovery Act-Funded Contract Action

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

Project Officer: Linh Kennell, ORDI
Title: Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC)
Contract Type: Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee
Contractor: University of Minnesota
Contract No.: HHSM-500-2005-00027I/Task Order 0003

I. Authority

This contract action 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 (Modification to Competitive Cost Reimbursement Award)
_____ 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):

Modification to a Competitive Cost Reimbursement Award
This effort is currently being performed by the University of Minnesota under its MRAD Task Order Contract which was competitively awarded in 2005 under the procedures of FAR 16.505, multiple awards, Indefinite Delivery - Indefinite Quantity contracts. CMS intends to modify Contract HHSM-500-2005-00027I/Task Order 0003, which was competitively awarded on September 29, 2008 as a CPFF Task Order Type.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has long supported extra-mural research to evaluate the provision of health services in the United States. In operating multi-billion dollar programs with major effects on the provision of health services to special populations, including many of the most vulnerable and with the most chronic conditions in the United States, CMS understands the crucial need to continually support policy development and analyses. Continuing concerns over the rising cost of health services and proposals for reform of government-financed and private sector health services have further highlighted the need for comprehensive, solid research.
A wide range of research is carried out and supported by CMS, much of it using data that originate from operation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Medicare program covers Parts A (Hospital Insurance), B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), C (Medicare Advantage programs) and, now, Part D, the prescription drug program. The Office of Research, Development & Information (ORDI) has and continues to conduct and support research on all programs that CMS operates. The research has involved the evaluation of CMS program changes, the impact of legislation, access to care, utilization of services, the costs of care, health services outcomes, the appropriateness of care, quality of care, the epidemiology of disease in the population and other topics.
A key component of ORDI, CMS research support involves collaboration with outside researchers. Researchers in the health services arena are affiliated with other government agencies and commissions (both Federal and State), the academic community (schools of medicine, public health, public policy, and economics), non-profit organizations, private consultants (for-profit health research organizations) and other private sector health services providers (hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans).
In the course of operating its programs, CMS maintains and utilizes a vast array of data. These data provide information on eligibility and enrollment, Medicare and Medicaid providers, claims and utilization, program regulations, and clinical assessment information that support program oversight, research and evaluation purposes. In the early 1990's, CMS became aware that there are many potential researchers who are not familiar with the wealth of complex Medicare and Medicaid data available. Furthermore, CMS data are not always easy to use, even for researchers experienced with administrative databases. Because of the complexity of the data, for the many health care researchers it is often difficult for them to prepare first-time requests with the appropriate level of specificity needed. Researchers are not always aware of what data are available, when updates take place, the applicability of specific data elements, the implications of CMS program changes on data consistency, and techniques for linking CMS data with data from other sources. In the ensuing years, it has become more difficult for even frequent users of CMS data to use the current files being released. Due to changes in CMS policies regarding beneficiary privacy, the linking of data files has become more challenging as the personal identifiers (i.e., a SSN or HIC) for a beneficiary is no longer provided, rather a unique ID per study is being released. In addition to the CMS Data Center, CMS is now distributing data to researchers prepared by contractors, the Research Data Distribution Center (RDDC) and the Chronic Conditions Warehouse (CCW) which have different formats. Finally, and very importantly, requirements for requesting the data have evolved to become more stringent in recent years in order to better protect beneficiaries.
ResDAC has become an integral part of the CMS research and data request process and is the front line contact for researchers. This role will expand in the future, and ResDAC will take a larger role in all requests (including precedent setting requests), CMS contractor requests and the Part D data request process. The future ResDAC contractor will have an expanded role not only with the CMS Privacy Board, but the new Data Governance Board and the Review Board for Part D requests, also.
The education and training of researchers will have particular emphasis in this contract due to the forthcoming release of Part D data including the new Part D Medicare Denominator file and a Part D Drug Event data file. This will further expand the scope of ResDAC's current workshops that encompass the use of Medicare enrollment and utilization data, Medicaid eligibility and utilization data, Cost Reports, linked data files such as SEER-Medicare data, MCBS Survey data, and more sophisticated analysis of payment related systems and variables.

Monitoring and Cost Control

The contractor shall develop and provide to CMS monthly status reports that can be used for the required stimulus reporting. Section 1512 9 (c) of the Recovery Act requires that each contractor report on its use of Recovery Act funds. These reports will be made available to the public. The contractor will develop monthly reports that identify the activities, equipment, and staffing which have been allocated using the stimulus funding. The report shall contain, at a minimum, the total costs associated with enhancing each of the following modified tasks: help desk, outreach, website resources and workshops. CMS may request ad hoc, customized reports in addition to the monthly reporting.

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).
This contract/task order will be modified to include this effort. This requirement, as noted above, is unpredictable in nature and therefore a firm fixed price contract is not achievable. No other additional steps were taken to pursue a fixed price contract.

V. Determination:
Based upon the findings, it is the determination of the government that a Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee contract type enhances the degree of potential successful performance that could not absorb the risk of a fixed-price contract type.
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
Evelyn R Dixon,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 410-786-1561
Fax: 410-786-9088