Early this summer, the General Services Administration (GSA) is expected to release a new Schedule 70 Health IT SIN dedicated to offering Health Information Technology services, software, and products to federal agencies.
Federal Health IT spending obligations were $7.5 billion in fiscal year 2015, so contractors need to be ready to take advantage of this lucrative market. Here are the top five most important things to know:
1. Schedule 70 Health IT SIN – Who Can Reap the Most Benefit
This SIN was established to directly correlate to Health IT in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As of now, GSA is keeping the scope of the SIN broad to include hardware, software, and services that relate to enhancing healthcare access and quality.
The creation of this SIN by GSA signals a new trend that will likely be most beneficial for healthcare IT companies looking to get on more Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) or looking to increase their government sales through a new direct avenue to sell their products/services.
2. Advanced Planning is Key
If your business is planning to sell through this SIN, it’s important to start preparing now. Once GSA officially releases this SIN, it will be available to add to contracts as a modification on a rolling basis, and it can be expected that many companies will be acquiring this SIN due to the projections for obligated funding. Considering there may be a lot of competition, the more you educate yourself on the requirements now, the better you’ll be able to position your organization for success.
Important dates to remember:
June 16, 2015 – GSA Released Schedule 70 Request for Information (RFI) on Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website
January 29, 2016 – GSA released their final RFI on FBO
April 22, 2016 – GSA to publish a draft solicitation to GSA’s IT Schedule 70 Interact webpage
May 30, 2016 – GSA to launch the final solicitation update with the new Health IT SIN
3. Requirements to Add the New Health IT SIN
As with any SIN or GSA Schedule, there are requirements to be followed when applying for a contract modification or acquisition. Organizations providing services will likely have a few more requirements than organizations offering software or products, but either way, GSA will require you to submit:
- Pricing Support (i.e., invoices): You will be required to show GSA that you’ve sold the products or services you’ll be adding to this SIN previously through your commercial business.
- Relevant Project Experience: This is a description of the products or services you’ve provided to customers previously, and with a Schedule 70 contract, you will typically need to provide at least three examples.
- Description of Proposed Services and/or Products: For services, for example, you’ll need to list in the labor category: title, level of education, experience and functional responsibilities.
- Commercial Sales Practices Format Sheet (CSP-1): This document captures who you’ve sold to in the past.
- Proposed Pricing Details: A spreadsheet within the solicitation, once it’s released, detailing the commercial rates of services, products and proposed discounts, will need to be completed.
- Applicable NAICS Codes listed in SAM.gov: Every contractor is required to have at least one NAICS code that’s applicable to the SIN listed on their SAM.gov registration. GSA has not yet issued the NAICS code that will be applicable to this SIN. If you want to modify your contract to have this new SIN, then you will need to make sure that at least one of the NAICS codes is listed on your registration once it is released by GSA.
4. Don’t Overlook Partnering Opportunities
For companies that do not currently hold a GSA Schedule, the quickest and easiest way to be able to sell through this new SIN will be to partner with an existing Schedule 70 contract holder. Partnering can help decrease businesses expenses, accelerate speed-to-market, and mitigate overall compliance risks.
Small businesses are also expected to succeed in this arena as awards in Health IT have typically exceeded federal agencies’ goal of 23%. This not only bodes extremely well for small businesses, but also provides opportunities to work with large/prime contractors seeking partners to leverage their small business designations.
The federal agencies currently spending the most on Health IT-related products or services are the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD). If you are seeking a partner, it may be advantageous to seek an organization with past performance with either of these agencies.
5. Associated Regulations and Laws
All offerors on this SIN will be expected to comply with federal regulations, such as:
- Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 (FDASIA)
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
If your company does not have significant experience with this industry, it will be necessary to research and educate yourself on these regulations to prevent running into any issues with future solicitations.
As the date for the release of this SIN approaches, it will be important to stay up-to-date on the latest news.
About Winvale: Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Winvale is a leading government contract consultancy with more than 13 years of experience specializing in GSA Schedules. Winvale provides its more than 1,000 clients with best-in-class government advisory, strategic consulting, training, identity and cybersecurity support services. We’ve helped small and emerging businesses establish and manage their GSA Schedules, and provided customized guidance to help them market, sell and win millions of dollars in federal, state and local contracts. Winvale has also allowed more than 150 technology companies to quickly partner on its own GSA Schedule to maximize government sales. For more information, visit www.winvale.com.