HCRS Teams Win Places on Government-Wide IT Contracting Vehicles

ANOTHER WAY FOR FEDERAL AGENCIES TO “REACH” HCRS HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAM INTEGRITY SERVICES… AND TO MEET A WIDE VARIETY OF AGENCY IT NEEDS QUICKLY AND FLEXIBLY

A Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) offers all Federal agencies a streamlined and cost-effective way to purchase Information Technology (IT) services. The two CIO-SP3 GWACs (Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 3) — one for unrestricted procurement (any size business) and one small business version to help agencies reach socioeconomic goals — are 10-year contracts administered on an all-agency basis by NITAAC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center. CIO-SP3 allows expedited acquisition of health and biomedical related IT services to meet Federal defense and civilian agencies’ scientific, health, administrative, operational managerial, and information management requirements. CIO-SP3 also contains general IT services, because medical systems are increasingly integrated within a broad IT architecture, requiring a systems approach to their implementation.

Many health information management and program integrity services can be obtained through the CIO-SP3 vehicle. HCRS is a subcontractor to one unrestricted and two small business contractors.

Xerox is our unrestricted (large business) prime contractor for CIOSP-3. Xerox is a growing presence in the Federal IT space, with contracts with some 25 agencies.
Paragon is a small business offering logistics, integrated governance, advanced technology and data management services to health, science, other civilian and defense agencies.
SCSJV is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Joint Venture, a group of innovative, stable and fiscally responsible, agile and price-sensitive companies, primarily small (85%) and committed to staying together throughout the life of CIO-SP3.

CALL US to find out how to leverage CIO-SP3 to meet your health information management and other IT needs!

HCRS Principal Addresses Small Businesses on Successful Federal Sub-Contracting

“Focus on your company’s uniqueness and understand that the secret ingredient is YOU, and you will succeed as a Federal subcontractor,” HCRS Principal Brenda Doles, RN, MBA told an audience of about 100 Philadelphia area small business owners recently. The event was one of a series of community outreach events sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to encourage more small business participation in Federal contracting. At the Philadelphia event, the emphasis was on how to find, win and carry out subcontracting opportunities, from both the prime’s and the subcontractor’s perspectives. HCRS and one of its prime contractors, RTI International, presented each side of the story.

Ms. Doles pointed out that subcontracting has several advantages to small businesses as an introduction to the Federal marketplace. For example, she noted, subcontracting can shortcut the typical government sales cycle of 18 months. Regulations for market entry as a subcontractor are less stringent than those for primes. Mentor/Protégé arrangements (both formal and informal) can facilitate teaming and help new small businesses gain “past performance” that will help them win more business. Her advice to small businesses on how to win contracts? “Identify your target client. Know your client and do your homework. Plan. Be prepared. Seize the moment. Be flexible and expect the unexpected. Most important, have a passion for what you do.”

HCRS Helps Policymakers Understand and Predict Healthcare Use

During the past year HCRS has developing an ongoing relationship with RTI International, an independent not-for-profit research institute that does important work for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and other Federal healthcare agencies. We have supported RTI in two research studies activities.

  • Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) coding. MEPS is a large scale survey of families and individuals, their medical providers, and employers across the United States that is the Federal government’s go-to source of information on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage. RTI’s role is to analyze raw data from the surveys to create the information that policymakers need. HCRS helps in the analysis by turning written descriptions of care from doctors and hospitals into medical codes, making it possible for biostatisticians to aggregate and manipulate the data.  The data are then shared with government and other health policy researchers such as the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Family Foundation finding illustrated at right, like many such findings in non-government organization policy research, is based on MEPS data.
  •  Medicare Advantage Predictive Model DRG mapping. Federal officials use a mathematical model to predict future use of health care services in Medicare managed care plans (“Medicare Advantage”).  The prediction becomes part of the payment the managed care plan receives for taking care of each member. The current model was built using ICD-9 codes. We were asked to make the model accommodate ICD-10 coding by “backward mapping” ICD-10 coded data to ICD-9.

HCRS Assists in Reporting Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) Accurately.

HCRS is working with Advanta Medical Solutions, LLC to validate the accuracy of hospitals’ reporting of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) to the state. HAIs are infections acquired in the course of receiving health care. They are now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 1.7 million HAIs in this country each year, resulting in about 100,000 deaths, and costing millions of dollars in lost productivity. For public health and safety reasons, it is critically important that government officials have accurate records of where these infections are occurring. Therefore, HCRS auditors, along with auditors from Advanta, audit a sample of medical records at hospitals around the state to ensure that HAIs are captured and accurately reported. The results of the audits are passed along to the Maryland Health Care Commission.

HCRS Helps Determine How Well “Patient-Centered Medical Homes” Work

In a PCMH, primary care physicians guide patients and orchestrate all their care.
HCRS is working with IMPAQ International, LLC, a policy research firm, in conducting an evaluation of the Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot Program. Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) are practice arrangements in which the primary care physician or practice delivers, integrates or coordinates all the care that patients require, including specialist and hospital care. PCMHs have been promoted as a potential solution to many of the problems facing the American health care system (e.g., fast-rising costs, medical errors/declining quality of care, and lack of coordination of care). Nearly all States have implemented a Medicaid and/or private insurance demonstration involving PCMH, including Maryland, whose 3-year pilot began in 2011 with 53 primary care practices and about 200,000 patients. All the major insurance carriers and the Maryland Medicaid program are participating.  The study is being conducted under the auspices of the Maryland Health Care Commission.

Our job is to help IMPAQ answer the following questions about the PCMH Pilot Program: (1) Did access to and the quality of care improve? (2) Did patient, provider, and staff satisfaction increase? (3) Have disparities in health been reduced? (4) Has the utilization of costly services decreased? (5) Are payer costs of care lower? Answering these questions will involve gathering care outcomes and cost data along with information about patient, provider and staff perceptions during 2012 and again in 2014.