Medical/surgical prime vendor principles for success

This column was originally published on Roger Waldron’s blog at The Coalition for Government Procurement and was republished here with permission from the author.

The Coalition for Government Procurement sincerely appreciates the engagement with the Department of Veterans Affairs about the Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) program and the agency’s recognition of the importance of the dialogue with industry as it develops an acquisition strategy for the future of the program.

The VA is currently considering its options...

READ MORE

This column was originally published on Roger Waldron’s blog at The Coalition for Government Procurement and was republished here with permission from the author.

The Coalition for Government Procurement sincerely appreciates the engagement with the Department of Veterans Affairs about the Medical/Surgical Prime Vendor (MSPV) program and the agency’s recognition of the importance of the dialogue with industry as it develops an acquisition strategy for the future of the program.

The VA is currently considering its options for the next iteration of the program, MSPV-Z, following the end of the current MSPV Generation Z Transition contract. As such, the Coalition supports the timely reinstatement/recompete of the MSPV 2.0 Prime Vendor solicitation requirements, with appropriate amendments to the requirements consistent with the associated protest decision and the VA’s changed circumstances. A set of competitively awarded multi-year Prime Vendor contracts are in the best interests of the VA, veterans and the VA’s business partners. Quickly moving to a new, competitively awarded set of Prime Vendor contracts will ensure that the VA has access to tens of thousands of products through the existing Supply BPAs at fair and reasonable prices. It also will support the long-term health of the medical supply chain for the VA and its industry partners.

Further, the VA should develop a public “dashboard” that tracks and reports on the VA’s progress implementing key initiatives, like MSPV-Z, and the underlying data management systems that support the program. A public dashboard will serve as an effective management tool for the VA while providing stakeholders with timely information and updates on the VA’s efforts.

In addition, the VA should consider some key principles as it develops a “blueprint” for the future MSPV-Z contract and the VA’s broader enterprise-wide strategy for supply chain management.  The following is a list of the principles that can help guide the development of the VA’s data management infrastructure and MSPV-Z:

  1. Develop a streamlined acquisition strategy for the procurement of medical/surgical supplies that:
    • Provides veterans and VA clinicians with the most innovative medical/surgical products available in the commercial market for the best value to taxpayers;
    • Drives data management across the VA’s procurement, logistics and financial systems to improve support for requirements development, inventory management and contract execution; and
    • Supports cost-effective and efficient VA small business programs, including the Veterans First Contracting Program.
  1. Provide a single point of contact with clinical experience with whom industry may share the latest healthcare technologies for the VA.
  2. Ensure clinician-led sourcing regarding the selection of items for the MSPV Supply BPAs; ensure that the process pursuant to which commercial products are evaluated by clinicians is transparent; and ensure that both of the foregoing provide advance notice to industry about upcoming reviews.
  3. Continue robust engagement with industry (small, medium and large businesses) throughout the development and implementation of the new prime vendor program so that VA suppliers across the supply chain can provide constructive feedback on the transition plan and are better prepared to meet VHA’s requirements for MSPV-Z and beyond.
  4. Maximize the ability of MSPV Supply BPAs to meet clinical needs by allowing suppliers to provide full portfolios of products and establish a product addition process for suppliers to add new technology items (that have been released into the market) to their BPAs moving forward.
  5. Promote the MSPV program as a mandatory source of supply; monitor whether the program is meeting its usage objectives; and update the MSPV product list accordingly.
  6. Track and reduce Government Purchase Card use for the procurement of medical/surgical supplies outside the VA’s established contracting programs.
  7. Require that any decision by the VA to transfer the MSPV program to DLA include:
    • A sound, streamlined management and acquisition plan to transition from VA sources of supply to DLA sources of supply, including accommodating VA-specific requirements;
    • A roadmap to reduce unnecessary duplication and costs through the consolidation of prime vendor programs across DLA, DHA and the VA;
    • Efficient and effective integration of the VA’s IT systems with DLA systems, including the appropriate training of the VA acquisition workforce; and
    • A communications plan that addresses all stakeholders (and businesses of all sizes); that provides updates on any new systems implementation ( timeline, target locations and implications for VHA operations); and that facilitates continued dialogue between the VA and its suppliers on success of the program.

The Coalition’s members hope that the VA sees these “principles” as a positive contribution to its efforts to bring support to veterans and value to the taxpayer. We stand ready to provide feedback on the VA’s “blueprint” for MSPV-Z and its broader enterprise-wide supply chain management strategy.

Related Stories

    The Coalition for Government Procurement

    Addressing the impact of inflation on government contracts

    Read more
    The Coalition for Government Procurement

    Buy American: A new vision for new realities

    Read more
    The Coalition for Government Procurement

    The tyranny of low price and other challenges

    Read more