Q515–Histopathology Testing Services For Sacramento VAMC

Jul 16, 2020 | Sources Sought

This is a SOURCES SOUGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ONLY The intent of this Sources Sought Announcement is to assist in our decision-making process for services procurement. This is not a solicitation, nor request for quotes or proposals. Through the receipt of responses, this will enable a more precise type of procurement process. The Government is not obligated to nor will it pay for or reimburse any costs associated with responding to this sources sought synopsis request. This notice shall not be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation or ultimately award of a contract, nor does it restrict the Government to a particular acquisition approach. Any inquiries are to be made in writing by email to the point of contact, Larry Facio, Contracting Officer. Responses to this notice shall be sent by email to larry.facio@va.gov by the due date and time of 07/22/2020 by 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). This is for a Base Year Plus Four Option Years contract. Base Year begins 10/01/20. Contractor shall provide Histology Services to include processing, cutting, and staining slides for routine histology H&E interpretation and diagnosis by the VA. All block and slide processing will be performed at the Contractor’s laboratory facility. Services shall include providing ground courier services to pick-up formalin fixed tissue cassettes on a daily basis from the Sacramento VAMC located at 10535 Hospital Way, Mather, CA 95655. Contractor shall then transport such cassettes to Contractor’s laboratory for processing and then deliver paraffin embedded tissue blocks and processed H&E slides to the Sacramento VAMC. Services shall be provided at the Contractor s histology laboratory. Due to the critical nature of the tissue blocks and slides, the selected Contractor shall adhere to strict turnaround times for pick-up of tissue cassettes and delivery of processed tissue blocks and slides to the Sacramento VAMC as further defined in this Performance Work Statement (PWS). Given the short turnaround time required by the Government, the Contractor s histology laboratory must be located within the general vicinity of the Sacramento VAMC such that the required turnaround times may be met without delay. Specific Tasks: Pick-up Tissue Cassettes to be Processed: Contractor shall pick-up tissue cassettes from the VAMC, Histology Laboratory on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. Tissue cassettes will be picked up by ground courier service no earlier than 5:00 pm and no later than 6:00 pm. Deliver Processed Tissue Blocks and Slides: Contractor shall deliver processed tissue blocks and slides to the VAMC via ground courier service, Monday through Friday, as soon as the tissue blocks and slides have been processed for readout. Such deliveries shall be made no later than 11:00 am on the morning after the tissue cassettes were picked-up for processing. On days where a heavy workload is experienced (for example, Contractor picks up >50 blocks), a second delivery may be deemed acceptable by the VAMC, however, the processed tissue blocks and slides must be delivered no later than 12:30 p.m. In cases where a second delivery is necessary, the Contractor shall include a written notification with the initial delivery indicating that a second delivery will follow. Labeling of Specimens: For tracking and documentation purposes, all specimens provided to the Contractor for processing will contain a unique log number assigned by the VAMC, Histology Department. Sequential numbers will be utilized for specimens containing multiple blocks. Specimens processed by the Contractor, as well as documentation accompanying specimens to be processed, will be void of patient identifiers. Tracking Mechanism: Each batch of specimens picked-up by the Contractor will be accompanied by a tracking log which will identify the unique specimen numbers(s); the time the specimens were picked-up or delivered; and the name of the Contractor s courier. After processing, specimens delivered to the VAMC will be accompanied by the same tracking log, indicating the same information along with any problems encountered by the Contractor in performing the services. Handling of Specimens: Specimens shall be transported and handled by the Contractor s courier in a timely and proper manner in order to preserve the integrity of the specimen (i.e., no temperature extremes, etc.) at all times. Following pick-up of specimens from the VAMC, specimens shall be delivered directly to the Contractor s laboratory. The Contractor may include the VAMC as part of a pick-up or delivery route that includes other hospitals provided that the final destination is the Contractor s laboratory and all specimens are handled properly throughout the route. Upon arrival at the Contractor s laboratory, specimens shall be processed in a timely manner according to standard histological procedures used in hospital-based histology laboratories and in accordance with regulatory requirements. Slides shall be processed in a uniform manner to ensure consistency in patient testing. The Contractor shall ensure the highest level of quality for all specimens processed and adhere to the following quality standards and practices: Processing and Embedding: The tissue processing and embedding must produce a block free of unacceptable artifacts such as shrinking, tissue drop-out, fracturing, or over drying. Cutting of levels on microtome: The manner in which the blocks are prepared for cutting on the microtome must minimize freezing artifacts, and when levels are cut they should be free of nicks, chatter , and tissue condensation. In addition, each level should be of the same thickness. Drying: Drying of the slides shall not result in burning of the tissue. Staining: The staining protocol used by the Contractor must provide differential H&E staining of a quality and consistency that produces well delineated, crisp results that facilitate accurate diagnosis by VA pathology staff.. Contractor shall ensure that its protocol does not result in overstaining or light or washed out staining. For example, overstaining will result in lack of nuclear detail, poor nuclear/cytoplasmic contrast, or cytoplasmic detail that is masked. Light or washed out staining will result in nuclei that are not crisp or poor nuclear/cytoplasmic contrast. Levels: Each individual level should have no less than 50 microns between successive levels. Contractor shall process specimen blocks to include cutting and staining as follows: Large resection cases (e.g. prostatectomy, hysterectomy, turp): One slide per block, to include any and all inked margins present, containing at least one level of tissue. Skin shaves/punch biopsies: At least three levels of tissue. More than one slide may be required. GI, ENT, GYN, TURBT: No less than two levels. If the Contractor routinely does 3 levels, that is acceptable, only if all three levels fit on one slide. Prostate needle biopsies: A total of four levels on two slides, with two levels on each slide. Skin excisions: Tips should have no less than three levels on one slide, making sure to contain all inked margins and a full epidermis (tips are generally identifiable by their three-dimensional triangular shape). Main part of the specimen: at least one level per block. One level will be acceptable if all ink and epidermal surfaces are present. Response Method: The Government requests capability statements and comments from interested businesses regarding the requirements described above. Responsible sources are encouraged to submit a response to this notice with a statement of interest on company letterhead. When responding, in Subject line insert: Sources Sought Histopathology Testing Services VAMC. At a minimum, the following information shall be provided: 1. Company Name; 2. Company Mailing Address; 3. Point(s) of Contact including telephone number(s) & email address(es); 4. Socio-Economic (i.e. Small/Large Business, HUBZone, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, 8(a), etc.) as it relates to NAICS Code 621511 ($35 Million). 5. Provide a summary of the type of services performed and experience as it relates to Histopathology Testing Services. 6. DUNS Number 7. Additional information and/or comments. Veterans First Contracting Program and the VA Rule of Two (Kingdomware v. United States) 38 U.S.C. 8127 – 8128: Service-disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB) or Veteran owned small business (VOSB) concern must be registered and verified in VA’s Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database at www.vip.vetbiz.gov to be eligible for award as a SDVOSB or VOSB if/when a solicitation is issued for this requirement as a SDVOSB or VOSB set aside. In addition, this requirement has been determined to be set aside as SDVOSB or VOSB acquisition, only SDVOSB or VOSB that respond to this specific notice with in the above stated due date will be eligible for award. As this is a service acquisition, the Small Business Administration and the Federal Acquisition Regulation have a Limitations on Subcontracting requirement. For all small businesses, to include SDVOSB and VOSB, At least 50 percent of the cost of contract performance incurred for personnel shall be expended for employees of the concern. See FAR 52.219-14 and FAR 52.219-27 available in full text at https://www.acquisition.gov/far/html/52_217_221.html The anticipated need for the Health Care Systems may be significant, and the needs may change significantly over the course of the next few weeks and months. Contractors must be able to quickly identify, screen, and process employees for rapid on-boarding with the healthcare facilities identified. Contractors must be able to quickly adapt to changing needs.

Contracting Office Address


Contact Information

Larry Facio
Contract Specialist
Phone: 916-923-4553

Main Email


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