The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is consolidating three existing vehicles into a single $25 billion, 10-year multiple-award contract, according to an April 19 notice issued by the agency.
The contract, known as Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractors, or NQIIC, will rely on data analytics to improve the quality of health-care decisions by patients, families, and clinicians, according to the draft statement of work.
CMS began acquisition planning with the release of a request for information in September and hosted an industry day in October. The bureau released a draft RFP on April 19 and questions must be submitted by April 30.
NQIIC will consolidate three vehicles: Quality Innovation Network – Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs); Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIIN); and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network. The contract links provide spending by contractor on each vehicle.
The top companies on the three vehicles are Health Services Holdings Inc. ($169 million in obligations); TMF Health Quality Institute ($89 million); and HealthInsight ($89 million).
Thirty-two companies hold slots on the three consolidating contract vehicles.; some hold slots on more than one.
- Two companies, Health Services and HealthInsight, hold slots on all three vehicles.
- Three companies — Virginia West Medical Institute Inc. ($88 million), Qsource ($80 million), and Island Peer Review Organization Inc. ($68 million) — each hold slots on at least two of three vehicles.
- The remaining 27 companies each hold a slot on one vehicle.
CMS plans to release a final RFP ahead of a preproposal conference scheduled for May 16. Based on the comprehensive nature of the draft, it’s unlikely the final RFP will be significantly different. Awards are expected in December.
An important consideration for bidding on an NQIIC slot is that it may make the bidder ineligible to perform work as a prime or subcontractor on other CMS agency contracts because of potential conflicts of interest. For example, a company performing work on NQIIC will become ineligible to perform work on any of the following contracts: Beneficiary and Family Centered Care-Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO); Independent Evaluation Center (IEC); Strategic Innovation Engine (SIE); and the Medicare Fee-for-Service Compliance Program. A comprehensive list of contract limitations is accessible by referring to the table listed on pages 134 through 137 of the draft RFP.
The BFCC-QIO predecessor contracts have generated $351 million for two companies since fiscal 2014, according to Bloomberg Government data. Neither of the two companies on BFCC-QIO currently hold a spot on the three vehicles that will become NQIIC.