36C26220Q1485 – Sources Sought – J099–691-21-1-029-0004 |NEW Requirement | Digital Image server-exchanger |Diagnostic purpose | (VA-21-00003678)

Sep 20, 2020 | Sources Sought


This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation. All information received in response to this RFI that is marked as proprietary will be handled accordingly. IAW FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Responders are solely responsible for all expenses/incidentals associated with responding to this RFI.

This is NOT a solicitation announcement. This is a sources sought/RFI only. The purpose of this sources sought/RFI is to gain knowledge of potential qualified sources and their size classification relative to NAICS 511210. Responses to this sources sought will be used by the Government to make appropriate acquisition decisions. After review of the responses to this sources sought, a solicitation announcement may be published. Responses to this sources sought synopsis are not considered adequate responses for a solicitation announcement. All interested offerors will have to respond to the solicitation announcement in addition to responding to this sources sought announcement.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), VISN 22 Network Contracting Office, is seeking to acquire network services that will allow Government personnel to collect these images from an outside imaging location and save them to VA workstations.

At a minimum the requirement shall meet the following salient characteristics with a brand name or equal, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) product for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System:

Brand name (or equal) Info:

Unit Price
Total Price
Imagex with assistant edition – Bi-directional medical image and radiology report sharing with outside, private sector facilities and with remote radiologists.
On-site service (service, support, training, outreach, technical service representative)

Salient Characteristics:

The procurement of this software must:

This requirement is for a software connectivity system which enables electronic, bi-directional exchange of radiology imaging exams and reports with commercial healthcare facilities providing services to VHA patients. The Mission Act has made it possible for Veterans to seek diagnostic imaging services outside of the VHA. As a result, diagnostic results, which are in the form of DICOM images and textual reports, need to be couriered back to the VHA for further patient care. As it exists currently, CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs are hand-carried or mailed to and from the VHA at the completion of a diagnostic test; this causes bottlenecks and delays in the continuity of Veteran care. There has also been a delay in archiving the images, delivered to the ordering provider by the patient who diligently obtains the requested images from the outside provider on a CD-ROM. The VHA relies on CDs to share imaging examinations with community care providers, but examinations are often repeated when CDs are not requested, get misplaced, or are not readable due to software incompatibility. CDs and repeat imaging cost the VHA an estimated $163-181 million per year, nationally. But more importantly, the Veteran can be harmed when previous examinations are not available: delayed diagnosis of cancer, aggressive and needless workups, and increased radiation exposure.
General Requirements:
All work shall be completed as per outlined and all medical images shall be accessible via the VHA portal known as AGFA Impax.
Contractor shall provide all Labor, Parts, Materials, Equipment, and Supervision
required to perform all work.
Contractor shall communicate with Contracting Officer s Representative (COR) that oversees the contract, the COR is located at the VHA Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Contractor and Employees are required to abide by the VHA Security and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The Contractor shall ensure safety of all medical images and exclude the possibility lost information and handling medical images with negligence.
VA Healthcare System: VHA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System includes the following designated facilities and Software Connectivity Service provider shall ensure medical images can be accessible at each location:
West Los Angeles Medical Center
Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center
Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center
Antelope Valley VA Clinic
Bakersfield VA Clinic
East Los Angeles VA Clinic
Gardena VA Clinic
Oxnard VA Clinic
San Gabriel Valley VA Clinic
San Luis Obispo VA Clinic
Santa Barbara VA Clinic
Santa Maria VA Clinic

VAGLAHS would provide a list of requested facilities to connect with on the Software Connectivity Service. The Software Connectivity Service provider refers to this as an Outreach List.
For facilities on the Network: Software Connectivity Service provider would coordinate the connection between the facility and VAGLAHS. This is conducted over a 30-minute call where the connection is added and tested.
For facilities not on the Network in California: the Software Connectivity Service provider and its local service partner, Multi, has an Outreach Team that works to establish the connectivity with the requested community partners by approaching the outside facilities to join as a free spoke for VAGLAHS.
Once a requested facility agrees to join the Network, the Software Connectivity Service provider s services will be installed at the location as a spoke for VAGLAHS at no additional cost:
VAGLAHS and the outside facility on the Network can exchange images and reports bi-directionally.
Becoming a spoke on VAGLAHS Network comes at no cost to the outside facility, and the number of facilities on the Outreach List does not affect the cost of the Software Connectivity Service provider s system.
The required services must integrate with VistA Imaging Importer, Agfa Impax, VistA Imaging, Computerized Patient Record System ( CPRS ), Laurel Bridges Compass DICOM router or any other DICOM router provisioned by the VA, and Cerner which will be implemented in the future.
The Imaging Service currently uses software to import images from CD-ROMs received by the VA. The current importing process, which uses Agfa Impax.
The acquired network services must ensure the VHA can continue to save these images to Agfa Impax and to VistA Imaging. The acquired services must authenticate and validate bi-directional, electronic exchange of DICOM images, Radiology reports, and Radiology orders using a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic methodology.
The service must allow the Imaging Service to search the commercial imaging providers located within the VHA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System service area, locate prior medical images and reports, and retrieve them to the VHA where they can be inducted to VHA systems using a quality assurance step. In addition, the system must automatically match patient IDs to update the patient s MRN # with the VA s MRN #, when possible. Further, the system must generate a non-VA order through VistA Imaging in CPRS and update the inbound studies with the VA accession number for reconciliation in Agfa Impax. In some cases, these studies may be stored through Compass DICOM Router.
The acquired services will directly increase the workflow for importing Radiology exams into VistA Imaging and Agfa Impax the process will occur as follows:
Receiving Information at the VHA
A one-time setup is initiated, and a trust with various permission sets is formed with outside facilities through the system. The system can have an unlimited number of trusted connections to the private sector through this single acquisition and through a single MoU/ISA with the service provider.
A query or request will be initiated by the VA through the acquired system:
This query can be end-user initiated or initiated automatically by the acquired system based on an upcoming appointment, a care in the community consult, an upcoming Radiology procedure, or an admittance to the hospital.
The query is broadcasted to the entire community of providers participating in the health information network.
The prior medical images and reports are located at outside facilities.
The images and reports are retrieved from the outside facility using DICOM, FHIR, proprietary APIs, HL7, and other methods which are available in a web-portal.
The images and reports are sent through a one-time-use conduit negotiated through the internet and terminating through a Site-to-Site VPN with the TIC.
The images are downloaded to the local system at the VISN.
The local system attempts to match the correct patient demographics, update the patient ID, generate an order, and import the studies and reports with the VA MRN and a VA Accession number.
In cases where this automated reconciliation process fails, the system provides a mechanism for modifying this information before importing it.
Sending information to the private sector:
A one-time setup is initiated, and a trust with various permission sets is formed with outside facilities through the acquired system. The system can have an unlimited number of trusted connections to the private sector through this single acquisition and through a single MoU/ISA with the service provider
The private sector facility can place a request through a portal.
The PACS department at the VHA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System will be notified of the request.
The VHA employee can initiate a query of the VA systems to identify whether any studies exist which meet the specifications of the request.
If no studies exist, the request can be rejected.
Once the internal query is complete, the staff can select studies and reports which meet the specifications and initiate sharing with the outside facility.
The system will package and send the images and reports through the direct conduit through the internet to the outside provider by way of the Site-to-Site VPN.
The commercial provider will receive the images and the acquired system can automatically import the images to private sector facility s PACS and EMR.
In all the above cases, there is no cost to the private sector or commercial facilities and there is no limit on workflow. Furthermore, information can be exchanged bi-directionally with no limitation on volume.
The acquired system facilitates the exchange of medical images and reports through encrypted, peer-to-peer conduits between providers on a federated health information network by way of the FIPS 140-2 validated Site-to-Site connection. The system provides enhanced automation which:
Utilizes an upcoming appointment, procedure, or community consult to automatically pre-fetch relevant images and reports from commercial or private sector imaging providers relevant to the upcoming care event.
Conducts patient matching to automatically match inbound data to an existing patient and generate an order to obtain a VA accession number.
Handles electronic requests that allow community care providers to request information electronically instead of sending a fax to the VA.
Gives the VHA the ability to request and conduct a broadcast query of the private sector providers to locate prior images and reports conducted through a care in the community program.
Facilitates order generation and retrieval of results from community care providers, opposed to calling community care providers to track down patient results and wait on a fax.
Supports advanced integrations with DICOM, FHIR, API, and HL7 standards.
The data is not retained by the Service provider s software at the GLA VA; however, in the instance that a study fails to import from the Service provider s software at the GLA VA to Agfa/VistA using an automated rule, the system holds the study for import-review for 30 days, by default. After that timeframe, the ‘held’ study is destroyed. In addition, the GLA VA can specify it’s retention period in these situations. Either they can elect to not retain it on the Service provider s Software hosted sat the GLA VA in these instances, or it can shorten/extend the retention period.
The system should eliminate all inbound and outbound CD-ROMs. However, as we transition from CDs to this electronic method, there may be some CD’s during the adoption/onboarding process. The expectation is that this system does away with the use of inbound and outbound CD-ROMs.
The Software Connectivity Service provider will provide support services to include maintenance and training.

Progress Meetings:
The Government and the Contractor shall meet bi-weekly or otherwise mutually agreed to. The purpose of jointly reviewing the actual progress of the project as compared to the as planned progress and to review planned activities for the upcoming two weeks and to resolve any issues identified.
Meeting minutes will be documented to capture issues that effect the medical image upload process. The meeting minutes will verify issues so that an action plan can put into effect to overcome all noted obstacles related to medical image upload.

Server Room:
The Server room is located at GLA Bldg. 500 room 0242. The server is where the Service provider software will reside.

Training and Trouble Shooting:
The Contractor shall provide on-site implementation and training to include outreach and support services.
The Contractor shall provide the contract information for a customer support agent or team that can be called or emailed within normal business hours.
At no additional cost, service provider will provide system upgrades and ensure the upgrades are compatible with the VHA network.

Performance Monitoring – Routine inspections by Facilities Personnel:
On a quarterly yearly basis the contractor will meet (in-person or conference call) with the COR and/or VHA Staff PACS team to discuss any operational issues.
The Contractor shall provide the following data upon request.
How many medical images where uploaded to AGFA IMPAX
Images that are not able to be uploaded to the AGFA IMPAX portal. The contractor shall provide an explanation of the issue.
How many medical images are pending upload to AGFA IMPAX.

Security and Safety Requirements:
Vendor will have access to patient records, data and VHA computer systems.

Government-Furnished Equipment / Government-Furnished Information:
Vendor will have access to patient records, data and VHA computer systems.
No government equipment will be used by the awarded Contractors.
The Contractor will access a portal to upload medical images to the VHA.

Payment and Invoicing:
The contractor shall invoice once on an annual interval.
The contract is a firm fixed price per year.

Other Pertinent Information or Special Considerations:
Base + Four (4) Years Option contract.
Place of Performance:
All work shall be scheduled during normal work hours (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM) Monday Sunday, Pacific Standard Time (PST), excluding Federal Holidays. Work shall not impact patient care services.
If a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be observed as the legal holiday. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is observed as a legal holiday by U.S. Government agencies. Also included, would be any other day specifically declared by the President of the United States of America to be a National Holiday.
Government Holidays observed include:
New Year s Day ..
1 January
Martin Luther King s Birthday ..
Third Monday in January
Presidents Day
Third Monday in February
Memorial Day ..
Last Monday in May
Independence Day
4 July
Labor Day
First Monday in September
Columbus Day .
Second Monday in October
Veterans Day …
11 November
Thanksgiving Day ..
Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day .
25 December

Period of Performance:

Contract Year
Period of Performance Per Contracted Year
Base Year
Option Year 1
Option Year 2
Option Year 3
Option Year 4

Delivery Schedule:

The information identified above is intended to be descriptive, not restrictive and to indicate the quality of the supplies/services that will be satisfactory. It is the responsibility of the interested source to demonstrate to the government that the interested parties can provide the supplies/services that fulfill the required specifications.
If you are interested, and are capable of providing the sought out supplies/services, please provide the requested information as well as the information indicated below. Response to this notice should include company name, address, point of contact, size of business pursuant to the following questions:
Please indicate the size status and representations of your business, such as but not limited to: Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB), Hubzone, Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), Large Business, etc.

Is your company considered small under the NAICS code identified under this RFI?

Are you the manufacturer or distributor of the items being referenced above (or equivalent product/solution)? What is the warranty coverage? What is the manufacturing country of origin of these items?

If you re a small business and you are an authorized distributor/reseller to the VA for the items identified above (or equivalent product/solution), please submit letter/documentation stating authorization/partnering from the manufacturer for bid to be considered for selection.

Do you alter; assemble; modify; the items requested in any way? If you do, state how and what is altered; assembled; modified?

Does your company have an FSS contract with GSA or the NAC or are you a contract holder with NASA SEWP or any other federal contract? If so, please provide the contract type and number.

If you are an FSS GSA/NAC or NASA SEWP contract holder or other federal contract holder, are the referenced items/solutions available on your schedule/contract?

Please provide general pricing for your products/solutions for market research purposes.

Please submit your capabilities in regards to the salient characteristics being provided and any information pertaining to equal to items to establish capabilities for planning purposes?

*** Submissions addressing Section (8) should show clear, compelling and convincing*** evidence that all equal to items” meet all required salient characteristics.

Responses to this notice shall be submitted via email to james.simms@va.gov. Telephone responses shall not be accepted. Responses must be received no later than Friday, September 25, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. PST. If a solicitation is issued it shall be announced at a later date, and all interested parties must respond to that solicitation announcement separately from the responses to this request for information. Responses to this notice are not a request to be added to a prospective bidders list or to receive a copy of the solicitation

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