IBM, Amazon & more object to $50M data hosting DOD deal going to Cerner

Four vendors are objecting the Department of Defense's modification of the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract that permits military health record data to be stored in Cerner's data center instead of the government's data center, as originally outlined in the contract according to a report by The Business of Federal Technology.

In December 2015, the Department of Defense issued a modification to its $4.3 billion EHR contract, awarded to the Cerner, Leidos and Accenture team, which adds a $50.7 million, sole-source, add-on for data hosting services.

Initially, the add-on called for competing companies to put forth proposals, but it was ultimately deemed data from the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization EHR could only be hosted in Cerner's data centers.

"While [the] Leidos solution meets the contract requirements, many of the capabilities of the DHMSM EHR cannot be fully realized unless they are hosted in the Cerner environment," according to the notice of the contract modification. "In order to fully enable these functionalities, the DHMSM EHR requires direct access to proprietary Cerner data, which is only available within Cerner-owned and operated data centers."

The DOD also stated allowing a third party to handle data hosting could negatively impact Cerner's business, according to the report.

Amazon, IBM, Computer Sciences Corp. and General Dynamics all threw their hats in the ring for the data hosting contract, and have all since raised objections over the decision to use Cerner's data centers.

IBM headed a team that included Epic. CSC put forth its bid with a team including Hewlett Packard and Allscripts. General Dynamics was involved in an open-source bid focusing on the use of a commercial version of the VistA EHR, according to the report.

It remains unclear what is included in the objections lodged by the companies, according to the report.

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