DHA Conducts Market Research for EHR Implementation Follow-On Contract

A DHA contracting notice asks vendors to demonstrate their capacity to work at the scale necessary for the multibillion-dollar EHR implementation.

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is conducting market research for a follow-on contract to support its $5.5 billion MHS Genesis EHR implementation, according to reporting from FCW.

DHA seeks a team of contractors to integrate the EHR into the work of over 200,000 healthcare providers and 9.6 million beneficiaries.

The agency awarded the initial MHS GENESIS contract in 2015 to a team led by Leidos and joined by Cerner, Accenture, and Henry Schein. The award elevated Cerner's market profile, helping it attain a contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to put the care of veterans on the same EHR platform.

In a contracting notice released on April 6, the MHS GENESIS program management office requested information from vendors on the level of integration required to support a commercial IT system within the Department of Defense (DoD).

The notice asks stakeholders to demonstrate their ability to work at the scale necessary for the multibillion-dollar program.

It also calls for vendors to outline best practices for managing health data in the cloud, managing EHR interoperability, and training end-users.

In the original contract that launched MHS GENESIS, DHA had Leidos as the prime contractor, with Cerner (now Oracle Cerner after Oracle acquired the EHR vendor in 2022) as the software and computing infrastructure supplier.  

However, VA's EHR contract places Oracle Cerner in the leading position, with other vendors supporting program management. 

The DHA did not say whether the follow-on contract to MHS GENESIS would maintain the structure of an integrator in the main role with the software vendor as part of the team.

A DHA spokesperson told FCW that the agency is "in the initial stages of market research."

DHA expects the EHR implementation to be complete by the end of 2023.

"As we've gone through this transition, we're not just replacing a legacy system; it brings new capabilities to bear," Holly Joers, executive program officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, said in Federal News Network reporting. "We're really excited about creating a lifetime record under the single common federal EHR, and that will enable patient-centered care."

"It will be a record about the patient, not where care is delivered — from when someone accesses into the military, all the way through service with Veterans Affairs," Joers said. "We'll be able to gain new insights about population health, the medical readiness of the force, and really ensuring that we're taking care of our service members and their families."

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