- The Department of Defense (DoD) will raise the ceiling of its MHS GENESIS EHR implementation contract by about $1.1 billion to accommodate adding the Coast Guard to the project, according to a Justification and Approval posted to the Federal Business Opportunities’ website.
Prior to raising the ceiling of the contract, the 10-year contract with Leidos and Cerner was valued at about $4.3 billion, with a total lifecycle value of $9 billion.
In the Justification and Approval, DoD officials stated the additional funds will also be used to “establish a common standardized EHR baseline” with the Coast Guard and VA.
“The VA will contract for and conduct its own implementation of MHS GENESIS, while the USCG will join the DoD enterprise implementation under this subject contract that is already under way,” stated officials in the document.
Leidos is the prime contractor for the project and will serve as the service provider integrator. Cerner will provide the inpatient and outpatient EHR software solutions for DoD and Coast Guard care sites, while healthcare product and services provider Henry Schein will contribute a dental health IT solution.
The Coast Guard announced plans to join DoD’s existing $4.3 billion contract with Leidos and Cerner in April. The Coast Guard will also integrate its implementation into DoD’s existing deployment schedule to help cut costs and share resources between departments.
Adding the Coast Guard to DoD’s existing contract only increased the contract ceiling by a fourth of the initial cost in part because the Coast Guard is about 2 percent of the size of DoD from a service member perspective.
MHS GENESIS will ultimately be deployed to fixed medical treatment facilities and operational medicine facilities part of the DoD and Coast Guard health networks worldwide.
While the recent funding aims to create a standardized EHR baseline among the DoD, Coast Guard, and VA, , VA will implement “extended capabilities that were not available” at the time of the original contract award, according to the Justification and Approval.
To maintain a standard EHR baseline with VA, DoD will use additional funds to acquire the same core capabilities as VA plans to acquire to ensure consistency between federal departments.
“The standard solution baseline will consist of, among other components, common Best of Suite and Best of Breed off-the-shelf software, common clinical application services, common interfaces, and ESBs, and common shared infrastructure that, when configured, results in much greater commonality in practical workflows, roles, order sets, plans, and reports, as well as training materials that support them,” wrote officials.
The original contract did not cover some of these extended capabilities, which include both software and services.Standardizing as many components of federal health IT infrastructure as possible will help to streamline health data exchange and communication between providers across care sites and federal departments.
“Furthermore, given the architecture of the commercial solution, in order to achieve the goals of its standardization requirements, the Government requires technical services and infrastructure to enable and secure certain shared environments between the agencies,” wrote DoD officials.
The officials noted the EHR contract award initially included language indicating that federal officials planned to expand and update the EHR solution on an ongoing basis to meet emerging requirements, account for changes in the healthcare industry, and adjust to new developments in the health IT market.
While DoD has expanded the ceiling of its contract to add the Coast Guard to the project, Leidos and Cerner are expected to provide new health IT modules, updates, or capabilities at no additional cost.
The Coast Guard will officially join DoD’s deployment schedule after conducting necessary testing and readiness procedures.