Three Bold Predictions for Fed Health IT in 2016

By Abigail Smith, Independent Consultant and Contributor, G2Xchange Health

#1 – The shine on 18F and VA Digital Services will fade

There is no question that both of these groups have done some wonderful things: the energy, ideas and delivery approaches put forth are refreshing. I’m sure many of these efforts will undoubtedly persist. While some variation of 18F and many initiatives will continue on into 2017, the headwinds will be strong. A new administration with a new agenda combined with a government and contractor workforce who may appreciate, but do not universally love these groups will create a challenging political environment. The days of a seemingly unlimited level of air cover from the current administration will dissipate and the new restrictions may not be as enticing to the young Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

 

#2 – CMS SPARC will not be awarded before the end of the fiscal year

NITAAC won’t complain if this is the case, nor will the existing CIO-SP3 primes. This is not what many established small and mid-tiers at CMS want to hear as it locks many out of a prime spot in FY16. CMS took a very interesting and refreshing procurement approach on the $25B SPARC IDIQ as they kept it simple. The result is a very large pool of bidders and the consistent feedback we are hearing is that many firms have already built in protest contingencies. Awarding large multiple award IDIQs is hard – look no further than the cancellation of the CDC CIMS On-Ramp earlier this year. Contractors understand more than ever what is on the line and with several new acquisition executives expected to be in place at CMS in 2016, this group will be tested.

 

#3 – Transparency on IT opportunities at DHA will get worse

 

A new leadership team, a political climate that will magnify the inevitable misstep and a dearth of primary contracting vehicle options will contribute to DHA IT leaders laying low in 2016, especially as we get into the second half of the year. Still a relatively new organization, DHA has taken on one of the most ambitious and heavily watched modernization efforts ever and they will have their hands full as the expectations start to ratchet up. The pressure and scrutiny associated with all of these activities will create an environment where DHA IT leaders will choose to further limit interaction with industry not associated with key initiatives. If DHA is a primary focus, getting those face to face meetings early in the year will be key.

 

 

OK, OK, we get it- Bah Humbug. While each of these predictions on the surface can be viewed as negative, the firms that recognize this as an opportunity and prepare accordingly, stand to benefit the most.

 

Agree/Disagree? Have some of your own predictions? Let us know by commenting below.

 

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