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Is IBM prepping for a DOD health push?

It looks like IBM Corp. is preparing to chase the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization contract for a new electronic health record system.

This week, the company hired away Dr. Keith Salzman from CACI International to be its chief medical information officer. He held a similar post at CACI.

"I'm excited to be joining IBM at this pivotal time in the U.S. federal government's transformation journey in health care," Salzman told our sister publication FCW.

The hire comes as the Defense Department readies the request for proposals for the large, multi-year electronic health record program. It replaces the failed effort to create a joint DOD-Veterans Affairs health record system. If I’m reading the solicitation documents right, the focus is on building compatible records rather than a single system for VA and DOD.

IBM isn’t publicly commenting on its interest yet, but it has been attending industry days related to the contract, according to FCW. It's also sure to have plenty of competition. I'd expect some mega teams to form around this opportunity.

The DOD system will be huge with 9.7 million beneficiaries, six major medical centers, 45 hospitals and more than 750 clinics. It also includes 300 ships, according to FCW.

Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs, told Congress in February that the system would cost about $11 billion to build and would be ready by fiscal 2017.

Deltek is tracking four separate opportunities under the umbrella of the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization or DHMSM moniker. The market research firm hasn’t tagged any with a dollar estimate yet.

One is for the systems integrator role to direct the project, which is the contract IBM is interested in. The other three contracts are for software modularity and interoperability, communications infrastructure and software products related to electronic health records.

Deltek is estimating that the RFPs will be out for these contracts by the end of the year.

To track these opportunities, use these solicitation numbers if you are searching the FedBizOpps website:

N00039-14-R-0018. This is for the main systems integration contract.

SPAWAR_Headquarters_MKTSVY_EA446. This is the sources sought notice for the software. It was archived today (April 24), so you’ll need to search the archives.

SPAWAR_Headquarters_MKTSVY_EBCB6. This is the sources sought notice for infrastructure. It also is archived.

SPAWAR_Headquarters_MKTSVY_E96FA. This is for the equipment and products and also is archived.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 24, 2014 at 1:04 PM


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