75H70420R00005 – Sources Sought – COVID-19 Contact Tracing Services

Aug 8, 2020 | Sources Sought

INTRODUCTION

This is a Sources Sought Notice. This is NOT a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. The purpose of this notice is to obtain information regarding the availability and capability of qualified Small Business and Other than Small Business concerns. This notice is to help determine the appropriate acquisition strategy and obtain feedback and suggestions from industry for the Agency’s consideration prior to the RFP posting.

BACKGROUND

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).  IHS provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.56 million AI/AN who belong to 573 federally recognized Tribes in 37 states. 

In response to the COVID19 pandemic, IHS intends to assist I/T/U communities to organize, develop, and/or refine their contact tracing capabilities in accordance with Federal, State, local, Tribal and other guidance in AI/AN communities, via contract support services, and this sources sought notice is to identify potential contractor resources that are capable of providing needed services in the AI/AN communities, including in rural/remote areas. IHS is seeking sources that have current staff readily available that would meet our immediate need for contact tracing services; this is NOT for a service requirement that involves executive searches, recruiting, testing or screening potential candidates to be hired at a later date.

In accordance with the CDC’s Interim Guidance on Developing a COVID-19 Case Investigation & Contact Tracing Plan – Case investigation and contact tracing are fundamental activities that involve working with a patient (symptomatic and asymptomatic) who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected through exposure to the patient. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who do not. It is a core disease control measure that has been employed by public health agency personnel for decades. Case investigation* and contact tracing are most effective when part of a multifaceted response to an outbreak (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/overview.html).

* Investigation in this context refers to a public health/infectious disease investigation and should in no way be interpreted as a criminal investigation.

RESPONSE INFORMATION

The capability statement must clearly demonstrate that a company has the current capacity, facility, personnel, systems and expertise to develop plans and implement the COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing efforts, in partnership with IHS and the Tribes. The primary purpose of the contract is to hire contact tracers, in order to provide additional labor resources for the currently established contact tracing operations in the IHS Hospitals and Service Units.

The capability statement should include the following:

  1. Contractor’s qualification, capability and experience in case investigation and contact tracing services. The details should include previous experience with targeted interventions such as their capability to provide us case and contact surveillance data such as: Percentage of cases hospitalized; Prevalence of cases; Incident proportion; Number of cases with underlying conditions who were hospitalized; Average date of death; and Average day for hospitalization.
  2. Comprehensive investigation and contact tracing model to be employed by the contractor to slow the spread of COVID19 in expeditious manner. The model shall describe how the contractor will prioritize the target population for the services; consider the remoteness of the patients in the rural areas; utilize digital and data management tools/technologies; train contractor and federal staff using in-person and/or distance learning method; incorporate privacy and HIPAA factors to its operations; etc. IHS does not intent to purchase contact tracing software via the resulting contract. Responses regarding available contact tracing software will be used for agency’s market research purpose only. Under the scope of the resulting contract, contractors are to utilize the software each site is currently using such as free programs offered by CDC or other software hosted by local state, county, or tribal public health entities.
  3. Cultural competence of the contractor’s staff to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with American Indians and Alaska Natives population across various Tribes. All Concerns shall submit a narrative that describes their experience in working with communities and organizations that represent a broad range of AI/AN communities.
  4. Contractor’s network capability and methodology to make the most of the existing public resources and progress made by the other federal, state, and/or non-profit entities.
  5. Labor categories to be provided by the offeror with respective qualifications and hourly rates.
  6. Contractor’s capability and methodology to provide the services from remote location.
  7. Pricing structure being offered by the contractor: e.g., hourly rates, fixed price per deliverable / service such as per case rate, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS TO INDUSTRY

All capable parties are encouraged to respond. Responses must directly demonstrate the company’s capability, experience, and ability to marshal resources to effectively and efficiently perform the objectives described above. Generic capability statements are not sufficient and will not be considered compliant with the requirements of this notice.

The Government requests interested parties submit a written response to this notice which includes:

a. Company DUNS number and www.SAM.gov registration status.

b. Company point of contact, telephone number(s), and website address

c. Company’s GSA contract number, if applicable

Disclaimer and Important Notes. This notice does not obligate the Government to award contract. Any information provided by industry to the Government as a result of this sources sought synopsis is strictly voluntary. Responses will not be returned. No entitlements to payment of direct or indirect costs or charges to the Government will arise as a result of contractor submission of responses, or the Government’s use of such information or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Any organization responding to this notice should ensure that its response is complete and sufficiently detailed to allow the Government to determine the organization’s qualifications to perform the work. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. After a review of the responses received, a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation may be published on a government GPE. However, responses to this notice will not be considered adequate responses to a solicitation.

Confidentiality. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).  Responses must be submitted via email, no later than 12:00 pm EST on August 21, 2020. 

Capability statements will not be returned and will not be accepted after the due date. The maximum number of pages for this submission is twenty (20) pages.

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