By Julie Hu
In September 2013, Futrend Technologies was awarded a 5-year, $17 million contract to provide operations enhancements and maintenance for the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) 340B Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System (OPAIS). This was originally awarded as a CIO-SP3 task order. Based on FedSavvy Strategies’ interactions with HRSA, the Agency has clarified to us that this is moving off CIO-SP3 to a GSA Schedule 70. It will remain an 8(a) set-aside competition. We expect the solicitation to emerge in late spring or early summer at the latest. The shift from CIO-SP3 is a significant action taking a limited 8(a) competitive landscape to the much broader GSA Schedule 70.
Interestingly, Futrend Technologies is an 8(a) contract holder on its GSA Schedule 70 contract through August 10, 2021.
Let’s break down the basics of the opportunity.
- Who is the customer? The customer is HRSA’s Healthcare Systems Bureau, but it’s not the only stakeholder. Be aware of possible needs from the broad array of non-Government OPAIS end-users, which include hospitals, pharmacies and drug manufacturers, among others.
- How much is it really worth? Over its current 5-year period of performance, this contract has spent $17 million of its $17.5 million ceiling. Unless something happens to change the scope of this contract, a reasonable planning figure is the current maximum contract value. Of course, this is price-to-win considerations notwithstanding…
- What are the trends? Since award, this contract maintained consistent annual spend around $3 million. In 2016, the contract spending jumped 22% to a $3.8 million annual spend and it maintained that rate in 2017.
- What does the procurement look like? Like the current contract, we expect the follow-on to be a competitive 8(a) set aside. The incumbent, Futrend Technologies, graduated the 8(a) program in early 2015, but it can compete as a Prime contractor under GSA Schedule 70 as long as it’s not forced to re-certify as an 8(a).
What does this contract do?
What is the OPAIS? It is an IT system used to oversee the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This system manages the registration and eligibility of entities receiving support through the 340B program and also manages pricing information from drug manufacturers.
What kind of work is being done? Services provided include developing software application enhancements, OPAIS business process improvements, and overall system maintenance.
What has been done on this contract so far? The new OPAIS software application was fully redesigned on Microsoft ASP.NET to securely support the needs of a large multi-user base. The improved OPAIS has now been deployed but testing, business process improvements, and feature development may be ongoing.
What is the customer’s goal for this procurement? HRSA works to improve health care services for vulnerable populations. This CIO-SP3 task order is supporting HRSA’s 340B Drug Pricing Program, which will help improve management and oversight for the 340B Drug Pricing program, while also making it more secure and functional for end-users.
Who’s Who in the Zoo
There were five CIO-SP3 bidders on the current iteration of this contract, but we expect the competitive field to expand significantly with the recompete. In fact, the move onto GSA IT Schedule 70 opens this opportunity to more than 700 eligible 8(a) businesses.
Who might have an edge in this competition?
While the opportunity is no longer on CIO-SP3, the key competitors are those who saw the original CIO-SP3 solicitation. These companies will be aware of the scope and evaluation criteria from the incumbent contract and can use this to better plan capture for this opportunity. The table below lists potential competitors: the CIO-SP3 8(a) companies with relevant HRSA Prime contract work. These businesses were among those that at least competed for this contract in its current form.
HRSA Prime Contract Revenue for CIO-SP3 8(a) Vehicle Holders
|Soft Tech Consulting||$0||$424,191||$1,555,010||$914,832||$1,124,401||$4,018,434|
|Trusted Mission Solutions||$89,751||$3,184,802||$0||$0||$658,024||$3,932,577|
|Turning Point Global Solutions||$545,062||$555,963||$567,083||$1,229,426||$128,425||$3,025,959|
|Tista Science and Technology||$0||$0||$420,567||$0||$0||$420,567|
Analysis of the Opportunity
As a smaller HHS agency, HRSA does not get very much attention. Moving this away from CIO-SP3 opens the opportunity to a significantly wider field of possible bidders.
- Understand the HRSA Drug Pricing program, Agency business rules, and how to appeal to the needs of both Government and end-user stakeholders. Ultimately, this contract will enhance and maintain the IT system to improve system efficiency and user experience.
- Current CIO-SP3 8(a) competitors will have a head start on the capture process – but don’t be afraid to go after this if you are new to the Agency. As this transitions to GSA Schedule 70, understand it’s a bold new competitive landscape.
- The incumbent contract will expire in September 2018. There is not much time to maneuver before the RFP is released. Get moving on your capture!
- Does HRSA and/or the topic matter align with your strategic plan? Consider this before you pursue.
Keep an eye out for this RFP since it should be hitting GSA eBuy within the next few months.
Stay focused. Do your capture homework. There are some great opportunities out there. Good hunting!
This analysis was written by Julie Hu. Julie is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Her professional experience has been focused on market research, competitive intelligence, and business development support for large and small Government contractor clients at FedSavvy Strategies.
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