The Department of Veterans Affairs published a $1 billion contract opportunity this week aimed at procuring remote patient monitoring and telehealth services to meet the needs of veterans.
The Veterans Healthcare Administration “consistently seeks advances in digital health technologies to improve the quality of health for veterans, increase the quality of health care available throughout VHA, improve the efficiency of health care providers and staff, [and] increase veterans’ overall satisfaction” with the VA and VHA, a spokesperson told Healthcare IT News.
Proposals are due on October 12.
WHY IT MATTERS
As explained by the agency representative, the VA Commodities and Services Acquisition Service and the Denver Logistics Center have been tasked with a requirement to procure remote patient monitoring and home telehealth (abbreviated to RPM-HT) services and supplies to meet the needs of U.S. military veterans.
DLC purchases RPM-HIT medical device data systems for distribution to either individual VA medical facilities or directly to veteran patients.
The contract includes a range of required line items, including a platform hub with cellular and “plain old telephone service,” or POTS, capability; peripherals such as pedometers, spirometers and non-pharmacy digital blood glucose meter cables or adapters that interface with VA-provided ones; and setup guides.
Optional items include health and fitness trackers and talking weight scales.
“Veterans use the RPM-HT technologies to upload vital signs, clinical question responses and other measurements that can help them self-manage their condition and alert caregivers or medical personnel to the need for active care/case management, including referral for clinic and/or hospital care,” read the contract.
The contractor will also be required to provide a customer support help desk for VA personnel and veterans, along with a contact support number for urgent technical, patient safety or other risk management issues.
The contract has a two-year base period, with a minimum guarantee of $100,000 per contract, in addition to six optional one-year periods. The maximum value, to be spread over four potential vendors, is $1.032 billion.
THE LARGER TREND
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been relying on telehealth since before the pandemic.
In 2019, the agency delivered more than 2.6 million episodes of telehealth care – a 17 percent jump compared to the previous fiscal year.
ON THE RECORD
“The value VHA derives from telehealth is not just in implementing telehealth technologies alone, but incorporates how VHA utilizes health informatics, disease management, self-management, and care [and] case management to facilitate access to care and improve the health of veterans with the intent to provide the right care in the right place at the right time,” an agency spokesperson told Healthcare IT News.