As stated in the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, federal agencies are purchasers, regulators, developers, and users of health IT. In their various roles, they set policy and insure, pay for care, or provide direct patient care for tens of millions of Americans. Over the past seven years, our nation’s health information technology (health IT) landscape has experienced a remarkable transformation.
With an annual growth rate of 7.4%, Health IT Services is one of the fastest growing markets in both the government and private sector. Therefore, it is not a surprise that GSA’s IT Schedule 70 is seeing increased attention and interest in its Health IT Services solutions. So, to ensure that IT Schedule 70 stays at the forefront of the Health IT market and to make it even easier for our government partners to get access to new and emerging health IT services, I’m pleased to announce the release of the new Health IT Services Special Item Number (SIN 132-56).
GSA’s growing subject-matter expertise in the Health IT market, coupled with our existing online procurement tools, will allow us to provide a best-in-class solution for Health IT market research, acquisition planning, and procurement.
What are Health IT Services?
Health information technology (Health IT) makes it possible for health care providers to manage patient care through the secure sharing of health information. A simple example of Health IT is having an electronic health record (EHRs) instead of your medical history and health information on many pieces of paper stuck in a manilla folder.
Other products and services that fall under Health IT include mobile and tele-health technology, ePrescribing, medical sensors, remote monitoring devices, and other assistive technologies. Health IT allows individuals and healthcare providers from federal, public health and community-based support organizations to electronically collect, share, and use health information.
Given the wide range of activities, and agencies’ desire for Health IT accessibility, the government is in an optimal position to improve healthcare and reduce costs through the secure use of information technology–making Health IT a valuable and strategic market for GSA.
Goals of the Health IT SIN
The Health IT SIN simplifies the procurement process, making it easier for IT Schedule 70 customers to get access to new and emerging health IT services. At the same time, it fosters competition and promotes small business participation. The new Health IT SIN gives industry partners a way to distinguish their Health IT services offerings from other IT related services already under the IT Schedule 70 program, letting them stand out to agencies seeking Health IT services. It will also allows agencies to more easily identify Health IT solutions and the experts within the healthcare market.
The Health IT SIN also supports the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan to expand adoption of Health IT services, reduce prices, advance secure and interoperable health information solutions, and strengthen healthcare delivery systems.
Health IT SIN Development and Collaboration
The new Health IT SIN is the result of collaboration between federal agencies and industry partners. IT Schedule 70 worked closely with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to ensure the Health IT SIN is a valuable resource to federal, state, local and tribal governments. We co-hosted industry days and agency meetings, and issued multiple RFIs to ensure we captured comments from both customer and industry partners. Since the beginning of the Health IT SIN development process, VHA has referred vendors to IT Schedule 70 for possible inclusion under the Health IT SIN. Additionally, DHA has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GSA as DHA’s singular Health IT procurement solution.
This collaboration creates a win-win for both agencies and industry. Our customer agencies stay involved as active participants by using the Health IT SIN, while our industry partners are committed to providing innovative Health IT Services to government users.
Participation is Easy
Current IT Schedule 70 contract holders must submit a modification to their contract through GSA’s eOffer/eMod web page. Industry partners not yet on Schedule 70 must submit an offer. Please follow the steps outlined in our convenient online guide.
Both new and existing industry partners may be eligible for our FASt Lane program, which gives suppliers shorter processing times for IT Schedule 70 contract actions. Contact FAStLane@gsa.gov for assistance and visit the IT Schedule 70 Interact page to download detailed instructions and a pricing proposal template.
Also, I encourage agencies visit the IT Schedule 70 Health IT SIN web page for more information on how to use the SIN to purchase Health IT services.