The Department of Defense on August 25 issued a formal request for proposal for a new electronic health records infrastructure, valuing the project at up to $11 billion.

The formal action follows a series of draft RFP proposals that DOD has issued during the past year as the department sought to clarify what it wanted and followed up on more than 1,500 comments and questions from vendors and other industry stakeholders.

Bids for the project are due by October 9, 2014. A solicitation letter sent to potential bidders on Aug. 25 reminded them “that the government has carefully crafted a requirement that best supports its interests and is not seeking to tailor that requirement to your particular business niche, position or product capabilities.”

So far, three formal vendor teams have formed to compete for the DOD contract. The teams are IBM/Epic Systems/Impact Advisors; Computer Sciences Corp./Allscripts/Hewlett-Packard; and Cerner/Accenture/Leidos (a spin-off of SAIC).

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is upgrading its VistA electronic health records system, has indicated it will make a play for the Defense EHR. Defense officials have previously rejected proposals to implement VistA. A recent audit from the Government Accountability Office concludes that both departments have made little progress on their latest plans to modernize electronic health records systems, including provisions for interoperability.

The DOD request for proposal is here. According to DoD News, the selection of an EHR is expected in the third quarter of fiscal year 2015.

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