Spending under the GSA Health IT Special Item Number

Published: March 28, 2018

DHAGSAHealth Information TechnologyHealth ITInformation Technology

The Health IT SIN sees a slow start in contract spending.

GSA felt that the Health IT market was in need of a differentiated and more visible acquisition method. With that, the Health IT Special Item Number (SIN) under GSA Schedule 70 (#132-56) became available in July 2016. In a blog at the onset of the Health IT SIN, GSA’s Mary Davie recognized that “with an annual growth rate of 7.4%, Health IT Services is one of the fastest growing markets in both the government and private sector.” While GSA originally contemplated including both products and services under the Health IT SIN, ultimately it was determined that it would include services only. Those services range from health analytics and interoperability to research and development in emerging health technologies. Specifically, the Health IT SIN offers:

  • Connected health
  • Electronic health records
  • Emerging research
  • Health analytics
  • Health informatics
  • Health information exchanges
  • Innovative solutions
  • Personal health information management
  • Other health IT services

The creation of the Health IT SIN also brought about a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DHA and GSA where the defense agency announced the Health IT SIN as its single health IT procurement solution.

In addition to SIN #132-56, two related Health IT SINs exist for specific purposes: SIN# 132-56 RC - Health Information Technology Services for Disaster Recovery Purchasing and SIN# 132-56 ST/LOC - Health Information Technology Services for State & Local Cooperative Purchasing.

While things looked promising for the Health IT acquisition market for federal, state, local and tribal governments, contract spending under the Health IT SIN did not begin until nearly nine months after it was made available. In fact, one of the first major awards off GSA’s new health IT SIN was a $15.6M task order in Spring 2017 by DHA (keeping its promise) for services around an enterprise blood management system for the U.S. Army Solution Delivery Division.  Though created in July 2016, the Health IT SIN did not have any reported contract spending in the remaining FY 2016 time frame nor in the first two fiscal quarters in FY 2017, according the GSA’s Schedule Sales Query:

Source: GSA Schedule Sales Query

Note that these figures also include spending that was done under SIN# 132-56 ST/LOC ($11,665 in Q3 FY 2017 and $59,668 in Q4 FY 2017). No spending was reported under SIN# 132-56 RC.

According to the sales query, 35 vendors were part of the Health IT SIN in FY 2016. The number nearly multiplied seven times by the end of FY 2017 with 255 vendors listed. Currently, 296 companies are listed under the Health IT SIN. Of those, 217 are labeled as small businesses, according to GSA’s eLibrary. Despite the growing participation under the SIN, spending in the second half of FY 2017 was only done among a handful of contractors:

Source: GSA Schedule Sales Query

Of the contractors listed, the spending under Technical Youth, LLC is solely from SIN# 132-56 ST/LOC while the remaining contractors saw dollars under Health IT SIN# 132-56.

It will be interesting to see how spending pans out under the Health IT SIN in FY 2018 now that the SIN will see more than two years of being on the market. GSA hopes that in the longer term, the Health IT SIN will “allow other federal agencies such as the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as State, Local, and Tribal Governments, quick access to Health IT offerings including vendors with specific Health IT expertise.”