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Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Medical Provider Component (MPC) Support

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OMB 0990-0115

PART I—THE SCHEDULE Request for Proposal

SECTION A—SOLICITATION FORM No. AHRQ-08-10009

Date Issued: January 18, 2008

Date Questions Due: January 31 2008

Date Notice of Intent Due: February 15, 2008

Date Proposals Due: March 13, 2008

Time Due: 12 noon local time

You are invited to submit a proposal to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for Request for Proposal (RFP) No. AHRQ-08-10009, entitled "Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Support - Medical Provider Component (MEPS MPC)." Your proposal must be developed and submitted in accordance with the requirements and instructions of this RFP. This proposal is for full and open competition.

It is anticipated that one award will be made. Contract type is Cost Plus Award Fee, Performance-Based Service. The period of performance will be forty-four (44) months with three thirty-six (36) month options. All options are to be priced and will be evaluated.

Small Business Goals: The AHRQ recommended goal (as a percentage of total planned subcontracting dollars for the base period) is 19% for Small Businesses, which shall include at least 5.5% (as a percentage of total planned subcontracting dollars for the base period) for Small Disadvantaged Businesses, at least 5% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Women-Owned Small Businesses, and at least 3% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for HUBZone Small Businesses and at least 3% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. THESE GOALS REPRESENT AHRQ'S EXPECTATION OF THE MINIMUM LEVEL FOR SUBCONTRACTING. The North American Industry Classification system (NAICS) code that best describes the requirement is 541720. The small business size standard is $6.5 million.

Offerors shall submit the following:

A. Technical Proposal (See Section L.9) (Original and 12 hard copies plus two electronic copies on CD)

B. Past Performance Information (See Section L.10) (Original and 3 hard copies)

C. Business Proposal (See Section L.11), including Small Business Subcontracting Plan (See Section L.13) (Original and 5 hard copies plus two electronic copies on CD)

D. Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan (See Section L.12) (Original and one hard copy)

Your technical proposal must be concisely written and should be limited to 100 typewritten pages not including resumes or bibliographies, with no less than a 11 point pitch, with the majority of the text double-spaced (lists of deliverables, person loading charts, and similar materials need not be double-spaced, so long as they are legible). This limitation is for administrative purposes only and exceeding the limitation shall not, of itself, be considered a basis for rejection of your proposal. Following instructions, however, is important.

Your proposal must provide the full name of your company, the address, including county, phone number, Tax Identification Number (TIN), DUN and Bradstreet No., and two points of contact with contact information. The proposal must also list the primary proposal authors and the names and addresses of subcontractors.

YOUR ATTENTION IS CALLED TO THE LATE PROPOSAL PROVISIONS PROVIDED IN SECTION L.3 OF THIS RFP. YOUR ATTENTION IS ALSO DIRECTED TO THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED IN SECTION L.9 OF THE SOLICITATION.

Questions regarding this solicitation shall be received in this office no later than January 31, 2008 (See Section L.6). All questions should be submitted in writing by E-mail to Mary Haines, Contracting Officer at the following E-mail address: mary.haines@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Discussions with any other individual outside the Division of Contracts Management, may result in rejection of the potential offeror's proposal.

The proposal shall be signed by an authorized official to bind your organization and must be received in our Contracts Office no later than 12 noon, local prevailing time, on March 13, 2008.Your proposal must be mailed to the following address:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Division of Contracts Management
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Hand carried proposals may be dropped off at the above location. However, please allow ample time as proposals cannot be accepted until they have gone through security. We will not be held responsible for any delays that may be incurred getting your proposal through security.

NOTE: The U.S. Postal Service's "Express Mail" does not deliver to our Rockville, Maryland address. Packages delivered via this service will be held at a local post office for pick-up. The Government will not be responsible for picking up any mail at a local post office. If a proposal is not received at the place, date, and time specified herein, it will be considered a "late proposal."

The RFP does not commit the Government to pay any cost for the preparation and submission of a proposal. It is also brought to your attention that the Contracting Officer is the only individual who can legally commit the Government to the expenditure of public funds in connection with the proposed acquisition.

In accordance with Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-16, all contractors must be registered in the central contractor registration (CCR) database in order to conduct business with the government [See Section I -  FAR clause 52.204-7 Central Contractor Registration (OCT 2003), Alternate 1 (Oct 2003)] .  As stated in paragraph (h) of this clause, additional information can be obtained at http://www.ccr.gov or by calling 1-888-227-2423, or 269-961-5757.

Requests for any information concerning this RFP must be referred to Mary Haines, 301-427-1786.

Sincerely,

Mary Haines

Contracting Officer

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I Pages

Section A Solicitation 1-3

Table of Contents 4

Section B Supplies or Services & Prices/Costs 5-7

Section C Description/Specification/Work Statement 8-41

Section D Packaging and Marking 41

Section E Inspection and Acceptance 41

Section F Deliveries or Performance 42-62

Section G Contract Administration Data 63-65

Section H Special Contract Requirements 66-72

PART II

Section I Contract Clauses 73-77

PART III

Section J List of Attachments 78

PART IV

Section K Representations and Instructions 79-85

Section L Instructions, Conditions & Notices to Offerors 86-113

Section M Evaluation Factors for Award 114-118

Attachment Pages

1. Past Performance Questionnaire and Contractor Performance Form 5 pgs

2. Proposal Intent Response Sheet 1 pg

3. Breakdown of Proposed Estimated Cost and Labor Hours 2 pgs

4. Appendix 3-F Web Site Deployment checklist, available at the following Web site: http://intranet.ahrq.gov/ohci/pub-com%20guidelines/Appendixes/Guidebook%20Appendix%203-F%20Web%20Site%20Deployment%20Checklist.doc

NOTE: ALL ATTACHMENTS ARE LOCATED AT THE END OF THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL.

SECTION B-SUPPLIES OR SERVICES AND PRICES/COSTS

B.1 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SUPPLIES OR SERVICES

"Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Medical Provider Component"

B.2 ESTIMATED COSTS

NOTE: the Government's estimate for the Base Period is approximately $13 million.

The estimate for Option 1 is approximately $12.7 million.

The estimate for Option 2 is approximately $12.3 million

The estimate for Option 3 is approximately $12.8 million

a. The estimated cost, fixed fee and maximum amount of award fee for performance of the work under this forty-four (44) month contract are TO BE NEGOTIATED

b. The fixed fee shall be paid in installments based on the percentage of completion of work, as determined by the Contracting Officer. Payment shall be subject to the withholding provisions of the clause ALLOWABLE COST AND PAYMENT and FIXED FEE TO BE NEGOTIATED.

c. Award fee earned shall be based upon an evaluation and determination by the Government as to the Contractor's level of performance in accordance with the following procedures:

   (1) The Contractor's performance shall be evaluated at twice annually.The award periods and maximum amounts for each are listed in Section H, Special Contract Requirements, H.1 Performance Evaluation and Award.

   (2) The criteria set forth in the Performance Requirements Summary, Attachment 1, shall be used to evaluate the Contractor's performance.

   (3) The Contractor further agrees that the final determination as to the amount of Award Fee earned will be made by the Contracting Officer, taking into consideration an analysis and evaluation of the Contractor's performance made by the Evaluation Group described in Section H.1, and shall not be subject to the terms of the "Disputes" clause of this contract. The Contractor shall be advised in writing of the decision setting forth reasons why the Award Fee was earned or why it was not earned.

   (4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this contract, the fee for performing this contract shall not exceed the statutory limitations prescribed in the first sentence of Section 304(b) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act (41 USC 254(b) for services other than research, development or experimental work.

   (5) Authorization to claim and be reimbursed for award fee under this contract will be accomplished by a signed Contracting Officer's Authorization (COA) letter, issued when the award fee is determined to be due. The COA letter shall set forth the amount of award fee to be paid and shall indicate the performance period evaluated. Upon receipt of the COA letter, the Contractor may submit a public voucher for payment of the total award fee earned for the period evaluated. Payment of the award fee shall be subject to the withholding provision of the clause entitled "Fixed Fee."

d.The Government's maximum obligation, represented by the sum of the estimated cost plus the fixed fee and award fee obtainable for the contract period is as follows:

(TO BE NEGOTIATED)

Period of Performance

Estimated Cost

Fixed Fee

Maximum Award Fee

Total Estimated Cost Plus All Fees

Base 44 months

       

B.3 OPTIONS

a. OPTION PERIODS TO CONTINUE THE BASE EFFORT

In the event that the option period(s) are exercised, the total estimated cost, fixed fee and award fee will be increased by the following amounts:

(TO BE NEGOTIATED)

Period of Performance

Estimated Cost

Fixed Fee

Maximum Award Fee

Total Estimated Cost Plus All Fees

Option Period 1 36 months

       

Option Period 2 36 months

       

Option Period 3 36 months

       

B.4 PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO DIRECT COSTS

a. Unless otherwise provided by this contract or unless authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer, the costs of the following items or activities shall be unallowable as direct costs:

   (1) Acquisition, by purchase or lease, of any interest in real property;

   (2) Rearrangement or alteration of facilities;

   (3) Purchase or lease of any item of general purpose-office furniture or office equipment regardless of dollar value. (General purpose equipment is defined as any items of personal property which are usable for purposes other than research, such as office equipment and furnishings, pocket calculators, etc.);

   (4) Accountable Government property (defined as both real and personal property with an acquisition cost of $1,000 or more, with a life expectancy of more than two years) and "sensitive items" (defined and listed in the Contractor's Guide for Control of Government Property, 1990, regardless of acquisition value;

   (5) Travel to attend general scientific meetings;

   (6) Foreign Travel;

   (7) Any costs incurred prior to the contract's effective date;

   (8) Rental of meeting rooms not otherwise expressly paid for by the contract;

   (9) Any formal subcontract arrangements not otherwise expressly provided for in the contract

   (10) Consultant fees in excess of $1000/day; and

   (11) Information Technology hardware or software.

   (12) Food and/ or beverages.

b. This contract is subject to the provisions of Public Law (P.L.) 99-234 which amends the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act to provide that contractor costs for travel, including lodging, other subsistence, and incidental expenses, shall be allowable only to the extent that they do not exceed the amount allowed for Federal employees. The Contractor, therefore, shall invoice and be reimbursed for all travel costs in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 31.205-46.

SECTION C-MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY (MEPS) SUPPORT

PROVIDER COMPONENT

1.0 Introduction

The MEPS Medical Provider Component (MPC) collects data from all hospitals, emergency rooms, home health care agencies, outpatient departments, long term health care facilities and pharmacies reported by MEPS Household Component (HC) respondents as well as all physicians who provide services for patients in hospitals but bill separately from the hospital. Office based medical providers where the provider is either a doctor of medicine (MD) or Osteopathy (DO) or practices under the direct supervision of an MD or DO are included in the MPC as well. For this contract, long term health care facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, as well as any health care facility providing medical care to those reporting such care in the HC of the MEPS. Jails, prisons, and medical facilities or pharmacies outside the United States are considered out of scope for the MPC.

The primary objective of the MPC is to collect data from medical providers (hospitals, physicians, home health agencies, pharmacies, long term health care facilities) on expenditures for medical services provided to MEPS sample persons.MPC data serve as an imputation source for item nonresponse to reduce the level of bias in survey estimates of medical expenditures. They also serve as source of expenditure information on physician charges that are associated with hospital care but not billed by the hospital, as well as serving the primary source of expenditure information for Medicaid recipients.The sample for the MPC is chosen from medical providers identified in the HC as having provided care to the sample person during the year. Only providers for whom the respondent completed a signed permission form authorizing contact are candidates for the MPC.

The MPC sample includes all hospitals, emergency rooms, home health care agencies, outpatient departments, pharmacies, and long term health care facilities reported by HC respondents, as well as all physicians who provide services for patients in hospitals but bill separately from the hospital (these physicians are identified by the hospitals not the HC respondents). Office based medical providers (including those in HMOs) where the provider is either a doctor of medicine (MD) or Osteopathy (DO) or practices under the direct supervision of an MD or DO are included in the MPC as well.

Home health care providers which include all home health care agencies, hospitals, social service agencies, and other places identified as providing home health care to the sample person are included in the MPC. However, self-employed and unpaid persons providing home health care services are not considered in scope for the MPC.

Providers for the MPC sample for one year are identified based on three rounds of HC data collection for two HC panels. (The MEPS HC is a separate requirement that is not covered under this solicitation.) The panel design of the survey, which features five core rounds of interviewing, covers two full calendar years.The MEPS HC collects data from a sample of families and individuals in selected communities across the United States , drawn from a nationally representative subsample of households that participated in the prior year's National Health Interview Survey (conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).During the household interviews, the MEPS HC collects the following detailed information for each person in the household: demographic characteristics, health conditions, health status, use of medical services, charges and source of payments, access to care, satisfaction with care, health insurance coverage, income, and employment.

There will be significant integration of work activities between the HC and MPC contractors. The two contractors must work harmoniously and integrated work activities can not have a negative impact on work products or product deliverable schedules.

1.1 Background Statement/Project History—MEPS

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (HC), Medical Provider Component (MPC)), and Insurance Component (IC), which began in 1996, is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals (MEPS-HC), their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.) (MEPS-MPC), and employers across the United States (MEPS-IC). MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held by and available to U.S. workers.

Surveys collecting data on medical expenditures began in the 1970s, at a time when the structure of health care services, private insurance, Federal health care programs and the characteristics of the U.S. population were undergoing enormous change. The first of these surveys, the National Medical Care Expenditure Surveys (NMCES), was conducted in 1977. Similar to the MEPS-HC survey, NMCES had three main components: a household survey, a survey of physicians utilized by the household members, and a health insurance employer component. Approximately 14,000 households participated in five rounds of interviews over a 14-month period.

In 1987, the National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) was conducted. Approximately 16,000 households participated in NMES, including 2,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native households. Once again, the household information was supplemented by surveys of medical and health insurance providers utilized by respondents.

In 1996, the current MEPS-HC was designed to provide more timely information about the nation's changing health care system. MEPS-HC introduces a new panel or sample of households into the survey every year and is conducted continually rather than once every 10 years. MEPS-HC households are a subsample of households that participate in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics approximately six months to a year prior to MEPS. Like the earlier surveys, the information collected in MEPS-HC from households is supplemented by surveys of medical providers (MEPS-MPC) and health insurance providers (MEPS-IC).

The contractor supporting MEPS HC and MEPS MPC survey work from 1995 to present has been Westat, located at 1650 Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD, 20850, 301-252-1500.

2.0 Scope

2.1 Types of Services

The contractor shall perform the following types of services under this contract:

          *Survey/project management

          *Continue operation of MEPS MPC

          *Preparation of MEPS MPC documentation

          *Liaison and cooperation with MEPS principals

          *Cooperation and liaison with the HC contractor assuring timely, accurate and complete file transfers so the HC contractor can complete editing/imputation work (for all files but prescribed medicines) and public use file development for all MEPS event files

          *Cooperation with AHRQ to obtain clearances

          *Meeting arrangements

          *Project closeout/transfer of operations

          *Reporting, work planning, management meetings

          *Data Collection

          *Receiving and receipting permission forms that establishes the sample for the MPC

          * Implementing and documenting sample

          * Maintaining MPC provider directory including SBDs and pharmacies

          * Unduplicating the sample

          * Identifying hospital physicians

          * Producing data collection forms, advance letters, and other respondent and supporting materials

          * Recruiting, training, and managing data collection specialists

          * Collecting data from medical and billing offices of providers

          * Coding of ICD-9-CM, verbatim medical conditions, CPT-4, verbatim medical procedures and supplies and prescribed medicines

          *Data Processing

          * Providing data security

          * Forms control and receipt

          * Data entry

          * Recruiting and conducting training program for coders, verifiers and supervisors

          * Recruiting and conducting training program for abstractors, verifiers and supervisors 

          * Data matching (for all MPC provider types)

          *Editing and Imputation of Prescribed Medicines

          * Producing matched files for use in the production of edited/imputed analytic files

          * Producing fully edited and imputed prescribed medicine files for use in the production of public use files

          * Benchmarking to outside data sources and previous years MEPS estimates

          * Developing MPC internal files (include matched and unmatched data)

          * Quality control

2.2 Resources

The contractor shall furnish all the necessary qualified personnel, materials, supplies, equipment, services and facilities necessary to perform the work described below unless otherwise stated in a specific task order.

The contractor shall maintain a list of all items, both expendable and non-expendable, which are unique or in excess of regular office needs normally captured in an indirect cost pool.  These items are considered Government property and are cost of goods inventory deliverable to the Government at the end of the contract.

2.2.1 Travel

This contract is subject to the provisions of Public Law (P.L.) 99-234 which amends the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act to provide that contractor costs for travel, including lodging, other subsistence, and incidental expenses, shall be allowable only to the extent that they do not exceed the amount allowed for Federal employees.

The Contractor, therefore, shall invoice and be reimbursed for all travel costs in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 31.205-46.

2.2.2 Shipping/Packaging

The Contractor shall mark each delivery with the organization's name, contract number, item number, and quantity (indicating partial, full or final shipment).  As appropriate, note on the face page of the report and when feasible on the binding (1) "one volume only" or (2) "volume 1 of 2, volume 2 of 2" etc. Deliveries of confidential data must be done in a secure manner and must be approved by the government.

2.2.3 Storage

The contractor shall store all necessary materials for a period of time determined by the Government and will investigate available technology and use the most efficient means to store all the necessary materials and documents that will include medical and billing records and sensitive data.With the Government's interest in reduction of paper, alternative to current storage strategies are encouraged.

The contractor shall also set up and maintain a secure encrypted data transmission line so that confidential data and documents can be transmitted from the contractor to AHRQ. The Government will provide hardware to the contractor for the encrypted line.

In accordance with the Federal Register (Vol. 57, No. 167, August 27, 1992, pp:38845-38848) the contractor is to provide for secure and confidential storage, retrieval access, maintenance, and disposition of data and other information used in the work performed under the contract.

2.2.4 Printing.

This contract incorporates the following clauses by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text.

FAR Clause No. 52.204-4  Printing/Copying Double-Sided on Recycled Paper (AUG 2000) is applicable (see Section I).

2.2.5 Audiovisual Materials, Publications, and Public Affairs Services.

Audiovisual materials (including CDs) are prepared for training and respondent materials. All such materials are property of the government and the government has all rights to them.

2.3 Data Development, Data Rights and Data

2.3.1 Data Rights

2.3.1.1 Definitions

"Computer software", as used in this clause, means computer programs, computer data bases, and documentation thereof.

"Data", as used in this clause, means recorded information, regardless of form or media on which it may be recorded (e.g., reports, tabulations, questionnaires, punch cards, data tapes, data files, tables, data processing and computer programs, graphic representations, sound recordings, form, work flow charts, equipment descriptions, and works of any similar nature).  The term does not include information incidental to contract administration, such as financial, administrative, cost or pricing, or management information.

"Form, fit, and function data", as used in this clause, means data relating to items, components, or processes that are sufficient to enable physical and functional interchangeability, as well as data identifying source, size, configuration, mating, and attachment characteristics, functional characteristics, and performance requirements; except that for computer software it means data identifying source, functional characteristics, and performance requirements, but specifically excludes the source code, algorithm, process, formulae, and flow charts of the software.

"Unlimited rights", as used in this clause, means the right of the Government to use, disclose, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, in any manner and for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) purposes, and to have or permit others to do so for AHRQ purposes.

2.3.1.2 Allocation of Rights

   (1) The Government shall have:

        (i) Unlimited rights in all data delivered under this contract, and in all data first produced in the performance of this contract, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this clause for copyright.

       (ii) The right to limit exercise of claim to copyright in data first produced in the performance of this contract, and to obtain assignment of copyright in such data, in accordance with subparagraph (c)(1) of this clause.

      (iii) The right to limit the release and use of certain data in accordance with paragraph (d) of this clause.

   (2) The contractor shall have, to the extent permission is granted in accordance with subparagraph (c)(1) of this clause, the right to establish claim to copyright subsisting in data first produced in the performance of this contact.

2.3.1.3 Copyright

   (1) Data first produced in the performance of this contract

        (i) The contractor agrees not to assert, establish, or authorize other to assert or establish, any claim to copyright subsisting in any data first produced in the performance of the contract without prior written permission of the contracting officer.  When claim to copyright is made, the contractor shall affix the appropriate copyright notice of 17 U.S.C. 401 or 402 and acknowledgment of Government sponsorship (including contract number)to such data when delivered to the Government, as well as when the data are published or deposited for registration as a published work in the U.S. Copyright Office.

The contractor grants to the Government and the Government's licensees, a paid-up nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license for all such data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, for Government purposes.

       (ii) If the Government desires to obtain copyright in data first produced in the performance of this contract and permission has not been granted as set forth in subdivision (c)(1)(i) of this clause, the contracting officer may direct the contractor to establish, or authorize the establishment of, claim to copyright in such data and to assign, or obtain the assignment of, such copyright to the Government or its designated assignee.

        (2) Data not first produced in the performance of this contract.

The contractor shall not, without prior written permission of the contracting officer, incorporate in the data delivered under this contract any data not first produced in the performance of this contract and which contain the copyright notice of 17 U.S.C. 401 or 402, unless the contractor identifies such data and grants to the government, or acquires on its behalf, a license of the same scope as set forth in subparagraph (c)(1) of this clause.

2.3.1.4 Release and Use Restrictions

Except as otherwise specifically provided for in this contract (e.g., Section 2.3.3 in SOW), the contractor shall not use for purposes other than the performance of this contract, nor shall the contractor release, reproduce, distribute, or publish any data first produced in the performance of this contract, nor authorize others to do so, without prior written permission of the Project Officer or until AHRQ has published the research for which the data were first produced.

The contractor must release all required deliverables under this contract solely in accordance with the reporting requirements of this contract.

2.3.1.5 Indemnity

The contractor shall indemnify the Government and its officers, agents, and employees acting for the Government against any liability, included costs and expenses, incurred as the result of the violation of trade secrets, copyrights, or right of privacy or publicity, arising out of the creation, delivery, publication, or use of any data furnished under this contract; or any libelous or other unlawful matter contained in such data.

The provisions of this paragraph do not apply unless the Government provides notice to the contractor as soon as practicable of any claim or suit, affords the contractor an opportunity under applicable laws, rules, or regulations to participate in the defense thereof, and obtains the contractor's consent to the settlement of any suit or claim other than as required by final decree of a court of competent jurisdiction. Further, these provisions do not apply to material furnished to the contractor by the Government and incorporated in data to which this clause applies, nor in cases where Government officers, agents, and employees are solely at fault.

2.3.2 Future Acquisitions

Since MEPS MPC is an ongoing data capture and matching activity and future procurements will be necessary, all programs, data, documentation, specifications and materials needed to perform these tasks will be provided to the Government. This will ensure that all future procurements are competitive and in the best interest and value to the government.

2.3.3 Disposition

Section 903(c) of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), 42 U.S.C. 299a-1, states in part that "No information, if the establishment or person supplying the information or described in it is identifiable, obtained in the course of activities undertaken or supported under this title, may be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was supplied unless such establishment or person has consented...to its use for such other purpose.  Such information may not be published or released in other form if the person who supplied the information or who is described in it is identifiable unless such person has consented...to its publication or release in other form."

To ensure compliance with these requirements and to fulfill the mandate of 923(b)(1) of the PHS Act, 42 U.S.C. 299c-2(b)(1), to assure that statistics developed with AHRQ support are of high quality, comprehensive, timely, and adequately analyzed, except as otherwise provided in this contract, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) must, prior to dissemination by the contractor, review all reports, presentations, or other disclosures that contain information, statistics, analytical material, or any other material, which is based on or derived from work performed under this contract.  Accordingly:

        (a) Except as provided in H.2(c), (e), and H.3(d), the contractor will not publish, have published, or otherwise disseminate any material resulting or derived from the work performed for AHRQ-funded research, except in accordance with the terms or conditions required by the Project Officer or until AHRQ has published the results of the research.

        (b) AHRQ will, within three months of the receipt of any proposed publication, presentation, or any other disclosure of materials derived from information collected or produced for a particular task order, use best effort to review the proposed report, presentation, or other text to assure that (1) identifiable information is being used for the purpose for which it was supplied; (2) the privacy of individuals supplying the information or described in it is not violated; and (3) the quality of statistical work meets the statutory standards cited above.

        (c) Except as provided in H.2(e), in the event no written conditions or approval are received from the Project  Officer by the end of the three month period following submission of a request (that is accompanied by the proposed text) to publish a report or to make a presentation or other disclosure of material derived from work performed for AHRQ-funded research, the contractor may publish, present, or otherwise disclose this material subject to the restrictions of Section 903(c).  However, the contractor must print prominently on the report or any portion of it which is released, or state prior to any oral or other disclosure of material derived from work performed under this contract, the following disclaimer:

"THIS REPORT (or other appropriate description of publication) HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY THE AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY"

        (d) Whether or not written approval of the Project Officer is received, the contractor must:

        * print the following statement prominently on written reports or other forms of recorded data derived from work performed under this contract which is to be released; or

        * preceding any presentation or other oral disclosure of such material make the following statement:

"IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ON WHICH THIS REPORT, PRESENTATION, OR OTHER FORM OF DISCLOSURE IS BASED, IS CONFIDENTIAL AND PROTECTED BY FEDERAL LAW, SECTION 903(c) OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ACT, 42 U.S.C. 299a-1(c).  ANY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION THAT IS KNOWINGLY DISCLOSED IS DISCLOSED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT HAS BEEN SUPPLIED. NO IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY INDIVIDUAL SUPPLYING THE INFORMATION OR DESCRIBED IN IT WILL BE KNOWINGLY DISCLOSED EXCEPT WITH THE PRIOR CONSENT OF THAT INDIVIDUAL."

        (e) In cases where the Contracting Officer has given written notice that the Government intends to retain all rights in any particular data produced under this contract, the contractor shall have no right without prior written permission of the Contracting Officer to publish any of those data or analyses based on those data, depending on the scope of the Contracting Officer's notice.

        (f) Whenever data or analyses are to be developed by a subcontractor under this contract, the contractor must include the terms of H.2(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) in the subcontract, without substantive alteration, and with a prohibition on the subcontractor engaging in further assignment of its obligations to the contractor.  No clause may be included to diminish the Government's restriction on publication and dissemination of work or material derived from work performed under this contract.

Violation of the special provisions of this contract Section 2.3 entitled, DATA DEVELOPMENT, DATA RIGHTS AND DATA, will be viewed as a serious violation of the terms of this contract as the requirements in this provision reflect AHRQ statutory obligations and responsibilities.  Such violations, as well as other violations, of the contract terms which are deemed serious, could result in the initiation of debarment proceedings in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations and the Department of Health and Human Services implementing regulations.

2.3.4 Location of Performance

The primary location for the performance of this work under this contract shall be at the contractor's facility.

2.4 RESERVED

2.5 Special Clauses (see Section I)

2.5.1 Paperwork Reduction Act

HHSAR Clause No. 352.270‑7 Paperwork Reduction Act (APR 1984) is applicable (see Section I).

The contractor will need to assist AHRQ in PRA activities and ensuring PRA compliance of the contract.

To date, public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 minutes per patient. Any comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden should be sent to: AHRQ/MEPS Reports Clearance Officer, John M. Eisenberg Building, Room 5036, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, Attention: PRA Paperwork Reduction Project (0935-0118).

3.0 Applicable Documents

The MEPS Web site (http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/) provides substantial information on MEPS data collection and data files.  Currently, the MEPS Web site is maintained and updated by the contractor, Social and Scientific Systems. Web site maintenance and development is not a part of this contract. However, the MPC Contractor will provide AHRQ with updated information necessary for Participant's Corner on the MEPS Web site, each year's MPC data collection instrument for each event type, and any additional MPC related items that may be necessary to be made available on the MEPS Web site (http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/). All materials that the MPC contractor will provide to AHRQ that will be made available on the MEPS Web site must be 508 compliant.

Currently, the Medical Provider Component data is collected via mail, phone and fax with paper and pencil questionnaires.  The current questionnaires can be located on the MEPS Web site at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/survey_comp/survey_questionnaires.jsp.

4.0 Scope of Work

4.1 Survey/Project Management Requirements

A Certified Project Manager must be part of the management team of the contractor.

        * The Contractor shall use an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) in the management of this contract that is consistent with ANSI/EIA-STD-748 guidelines.

        * The Contractor shall report earned value monthly based on actual data from (or reconcilable with) its accounting systems. The Government and the Contractor shall negotiate the level of the WBS at which earned value shall be reported. If subcontractors are used, the Contractor shall develop and implement a system to ensure that its subcontractors comply with this requirement, and each monthly progress report must address performance at the prime and subcontractor level.

        * The Contractor shall deliver with the Project Work Plan a contract-level Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) that rolls up all time-phased WBSs for the individual tasks. This IMS shall include the dependencies that exist between tasks.

        * The Contractor shall deliver with the Project Work Plan a Critical Path at the contract-level.

        * The Contractor shall report EVM data for the entire project and specific deliverables/milestones in the monthly report in the form of a Contract Performance Report (CPR) (copy available).  This report should contain all of the elements of the typical CPR to include:

        * Budget at Completion (BAC)-total planned cost of the total project or specified deliverable/ milestone at completion

        * Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS)-cumulative expected planned cost for activities planned to be completed by the end of the reporting month

        * Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)-cumulative amount actually spent on activities performed as of the end of the reporting month

        * Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)-cumulative planned costs of the activities actually performed as of the end of the reporting month. (This is Earned Value.)

        * Cost and Schedule Variance-in the form of a %.

        * The Contractor shall provide a corrective action plan with the monthly earned value report in cases where cost or schedule, as measured by Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI), exceeds performance thresholds. The Government and the Contractor shall negotiate the performance thresholds. The corrective action plan shall address the following items.

        * Brief description of the issue (identify the nature of the issue as cost, schedule, performance or resources and explain why the issue came to be)

        * Impact on project completion

        * Brief description of the corrective action plan strategy

        * Corrective tasks/actions that are required to eliminate or mitigate the issue, including task/action number, point of contact, start and end dates and comments

        * If the corrective action plan requires re-baselining (the performance baseline), the corrective action plan also shall address the following items.

        * The proposed new baseline

        * The reason(s) why re-baselining is required

        * Documentation of the reasonableness of the proposed new baselines and the accuracy of any new cost estimates

        * The Performance Baseline, WBS, BCWS, Integrated Master Schedule, and monthly earned value report shall clearly breakout the deliverables and activities related to the development and maintenance of systems, software, databases, and Web sites.  It shall also clearly separate development, modernization and enhancement (DME) deliverables and activities from operations and maintenance deliverables and activities.

4.1.1 Subcontractors

Subcontractors are required to meet the socioeconomic goals of the DHHS for subcontracting. The proposal must describe how the work of the subcontracts must be integrated, with specific lines of authority and duties and responsibilities clearly delineated.

Award of any subcontract is subject to the written approval of the Contracting Officer upon review of the supporting documentation as required by FAR Clause 52.244-2, Subcontractor Cost or Pricing Data, of the General Clauses incorporated into this contract.  A copy of the signed subcontract shall be provided to the Contracting Officer.

Whenever any data is to be developed by a subcontractor under this contract, the contractor must include the terms of SOW, 2.3.3 Disposition in the subcontract, without substantive alteration, and with a prohibition on the subcontractor engaging in further assignment of its obligations to the contractor, and no clause may be included to diminish the Government' rights in those data.

4.1.2 Continue operation of the MEPS MPC

The contractor shall begin operation of the Medical Provider Component (MPC) in 2010 to collect data on 2009 expenditures for the 2009 Household Component.  The transition period between contracts is critical to the MEPS. Measures at various stages of the MPC data collection and abstraction efforts will be compared to ensure the transition of work will not negatively affect the work progress or the data itself. It is critical that continuity be maintained and that any changes between the old and new contracts be transparent to respondents (as much as possible) and data users.

Half of the 2009 sample for the MPC will be provided by the current MEPS HC contractor. The remaining half of the 2009 MPC sample will be provided by the contractor that wins the MEPS HC solicitation anticipated to be in Spring 2008.The complete 2009 MPC sample will be provided to the MPC contractor by the Government. 

The AHRQ will maintain strong supervision over the expenditures, management and operations of this contract.  The contractor shall maintain communication and reporting mechanisms to facilitate such supervision.  The contractor shall anticipate and plan for periodic in-person observation of data collection and processing activities by AHRQ staff at the Project Officer's discretion.

4.1.3 MEPS MPC Documentation

Options considered and decisions reached regarding survey methodological issues shall be documented in written memoranda or reports to the Project Officer.  Upon approval by AHRQ, the contractor will make necessary revisions to survey instruments and procedures which will be clearly documented as well. This documentation shall be delivered within 30 days of reaching decisions.

The contractor shall maintain and update a Management Plan.  The Management Plan which is described in detail in Section L shall detail major milestones in data collection, data processing and data delivery.   The Management Plan will also include staffing, field timing and quality milestones. The Management Plan will include a person loading chart which presents the number of person-days allocated to each task and subtask for each category of staff for each year of the contract and for the total contract.  The chart(s) should also delineate critical milestones and the deliverables for each.The management plan should also include an organizational chart (s) which presents the placement of the project within the offeror's organization and the organization of the staff proposed for this project.  The chart(s) shall show clear lines of authority and function. The Management Plan should include a schedule for completion of the work and delivery of items specified in the statement of work.  Particular attention should be paid to the most important milestones in the medical provider data collection.The Management Plan should detail major and intermediate milestones for each of the subtasks for Sections 4.2 and 4.3 of the SOW.  The management plan should also be specified how the work to construct the matched internal files for all provider types and the fully edited and imputed prescribed medicines file will be completed and managed—what tasks will be assigned to which group of persons.  Key dates for the production of each file should be specified along with the proposed method(s) of quality control and benchmarking the estimates.  Performance or delivery schedules shall be indicated for phases or segments or tasks, as applicable, as well as for the overall program. The Management Plan shall affirm the delivery dates for files as specified in Section F for the base period of the contract, and if the option period(s) are exercised, the delivery dates specified in the delivery schedule for parallel data files in the option period(s) specified in Section F, as well.  The proposed completion tasks for the milestones shall remain fixed, but on a bi-annual basis the Plan shall be updated with actual dates. At each update to the Management Plan, expected deviation from the contractually specified dates should be noted, along with any reason for deviation.  Should the deviation be such that a later date is anticipated, potential corrective actions and their implications should be noted. Schedules should be shown in terms of calendar months from the effective date of the contract or, where applicable, from the date of a stated event, as for example, receipt of a required approval by the Contracting Officer.  Discrepancies between proposed and actual dates shall be noted and their implications for final data delivery fully described.

An annual report documenting survey progress on each major task within the Medical Provider Component including Survey Management, Data Collection and Data Processing, Matching, Editing and Imputation of Prescribed Drug Data, Data Delivery, Quality Control and archival copies of decision memos shall be delivered to the Project Officer by March 1 of each year, referring to the previous calendar year's activities.

4.1.4 Liaison with MEPS principals

The contractor shall make every effort to make the overlap between the current MEPS contract and this award as smooth as possible in the interest of maintaining respondent participation and data comparability.  The contractor should establish cooperative staff-to-staff relationships in pursuit of this objective.

4.1.5 Integration of HC and MPC Contractor Tasks

There must be timely and accurate data and documentation deliverables between the MPC and HC contractors (which will go through AHRQ). These deliverables will include MEPS HC data and matching variables and documentation necessary to link the HC and MPC files, as well matched HC and MPC files and documentation for use in the production of edited/imputed analytic files. The MPC Contractor also will deliver a fully edited and imputed prescribed medicines file with documentation that will be ready for public use file development. All raw MPC files which will include matched and unmatched data and detailed documentation will be delivered to AHRQ as well. There will also have to be discussion between the two contractors (with AHRQ oversight) that ensures all changes made in one component of the MEPS processes that has an affect on the other component's processes are known well in advance and are well documented.

4.1.6 Cooperate with AHRQ in obtaining required OMB clearances

The contractor shall assist the Project Officer in preparing materials required for any and all clearance actions during the course of the contract.  OMB clearance will be necessary to obtain.This assistance shall include preparing burden estimates, written descriptions of the survey and sample design, the design of any special experiments, and electronic (PDF) reproduction of survey questionnaires and respondent materials.  The contractor shall anticipate one clearance per year.

4.1.7 Project closeout/transfer of operations

Within 90 days of a request by the Project Officer, but no later than the conclusion of the contract, the contractor shall turn over all files, computer programs, tabulations, documentation and other items requested by the Project Officer in such form (electronic and paper) so the project may be continued by a successor.

4.1.8 Reporting, work planning, management meetings

4.1.8.1 Monthly progress reports

Beginning on the tenth calendar day of the second month of contract performance and on the tenth calendar day of every month of contract performance thereafter, the Contractor shall submit to the AHRQ Contracts Office and to the Project Officer a monthly progress report in electronic format, via E-mail as attachments or secure ftp or extranet site with E-mail notification that reports are available for download.  When the 10th calendar day falls on the weekend, the EVM report shall be provided to the PO and AHRQ EVM Specialist on the preceding Friday or closest week day.The rest of the monthly reports may be provided after the weekend, if necessary.

At a minimum, the monthly progress report shall:

        * summarize the progress of work performed during the reporting period, note milestones, describe past problems (including a concise statement of success or lack thereof in solving the problems encountered)

        * describe anticipated problems and proposed solutions

        * describe work planned for the next reporting period, compare progress and resource expenditures to the original schedule and budget and provide explanations for any variances

        * assess whether the current total estimated contract cost is sufficient to complete the contract

        * describe significant changes in the Contractor's operational personnel

        * summarize all additions, modifications, and configuration changes to all project software and database designs, specifications, testing, quality assurance efforts, maintenance and operational solutions and associated work efforts accomplished during the month

        * provide the earned value information requested in 4.1

        * include the monthly reports identified in 4.1

The monthly progress report shall not exceed ten (10) pages and also shall include disclosure of any new work products, computer databases or programs, or any other inventions that may be subject to intellectual property protection, together with a description of how the Contractor intends to manage intellectual property rights to these inventions under the terms and conditions of the contract.

4.1.8.2 Bi-monthly management meetings

During the project the Contractor shall hold, at a minimum, a bi-monthly management meeting at AHRQ or the contractor's office during which the project will be discussed.  The contractor shall submit an agenda, and any materials to be used for discussion, five working days in advance of the meetings. The participants in the management meetings will include the Project Officer (in person or via telephone) and other Agency staff as deemed appropriate by the Project Officer, the Project Director, and relevant project staff as selected by the Contractor with AHRQ approval. There will be core staff that will attend these meetings and additional staff will be asked to participate on an as needed basis.  Progress will be reviewed, milestones discussed, problems examined, solutions explored, and short-range and long-range plans made.  Action items and minutes resulting from this meeting shall be prepared by the Contractor and submitted electronically to the Project Officer within ten days after completion of the meeting.  If corrections are necessary, revised replacement minutes shall be submitted within two (2) days after receipt of the Project Officer's comments.

The contractor shall keep minutes of all management meetings, and any other decision making meetings with AHRQ.  The minutes shall include the contract number, project director, a list of attendees, a description of the issues discussed, action items, assignments and due dates.

All deliverables to AHRQ should be sent as separate PDF files and as agreed upon, by AHRQ and the Contractor, and recognizable naming convention will be used for all files.

4.2 Data Collection

4.2.1 Implementing and documenting the sample

The contractor will be required to maintain the sample including documentation of any splits, merges and determinations of "out of scope" (outside the U.S., prisons, jails) providers.

The sample for the 2010 MEPS MPC will be drawn from medical providers reported by HC respondents in the 2009 MEPS HC, and for providers that HC respondents signed authorization forms allowing contacting of their medical providers. To be eligible for the MPC, authorization forms are necessary for each provider for each respondent.

4.2.2 Unduplicating the sample

Although the provider—the office, clinic, physician, hospital, pharmacy, home health care provider, long term health care facility - is the "case" for the purpose of data collection operations, each MPC case may represent one or more household respondents mentioning the same provider.

To prepare for the fielding of the MPC, the Contractor shall consolidate all duplications in the medical provider lists generated by household respondents.  Using the most efficient means, the contractor shall review the provider sample generated by the household survey and assign unique provider identification numbers to each provider or group of providers that represent a single MPC respondent.  These unique identifiers shall be constructed in a way that allows the MPC provider to be linked to the person-events recorded in the household survey that generated the provider.  This unduplication shall occur within and across households, primary sampling units (PSUs) (e.g., counties) and rounds. (The panel design of the survey, which features five core rounds of interviewing, covers two full calendar years. Each year, providers for the MPC sample are identified based on three rounds of HC data collection (the HC data collection is covered under a separate procurement).  The resulting unique list of medical providers shall constitute the field sample for the MPC.  The schedule for data collection requires that unduplication be conducted in an ongoing manner. 

4.2.3 Provider Directory

The contractor will develop a mechanism that results in the provider directory remaining current in order to maintain functionality for data collection purposes. All separately billing doctors (SBDs) and pharmacies must be included in this directory as well as other provider types eligible for the MPC data collection. From year to year, the contractor will maintain contact information at the provider level as well as for the respondent within the provider organization who provided the data.This will include not only name, title and division, but telephone, fax, and E-mail address information for the individual and the provider. The contractor shall review existing provider directory methodology and propose alternative methodologies which would support analytic goals and improve data quality.

4.2.4 Identifying hospital physicians

For each hospital event (outpatient, inpatient, emergency room), the MPC abstractor, using MPC data collection methods, shall elicit from the hospital records the names of physicians providing care to the patient during the event and who received payments not included in the accounting of charges and payment for the main hospital bill or summary of payments.  These newly identified patient provider pairs become part of the MPC sample either as new cases or as additional pairs to existing cases in an ongoing manner throughout the fielding of the hospital cases. Separately billing doctors are elicited from the MPC provider or the MPC provider's medical records. Separately billing doctors are not household reported.

The Contractor shall evaluate the method of collecting this information in the previous contract relative to alternative options and will produce and send to the government their findings in a Methodology Report.

4.2.5 Provide data collection forms, advance letters, other respondent materials

Materials for MPC data collection, including data collection forms, brochures and other respondent materials have been prepared for previous MEPS MPC data collection. Copies of those materials will be provided on award. Examples of these materials can be found at the following link: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/survey_comp/survey.jsp#MPC

The contractor shall be responsible for maintaining, revising and adapting all questionnaires, computer programs, specifications, manuals, respondent materials and other MPC documents intrinsic to the conduct of the MPC survey.  The contractor may rely on already developed MEPS MPC products for these materials, but shall modify them as necessary.The Government is open to new formats/alternative for these materials. All documents delivered to AHRQ shall be in electronic form readable by AHRQ, and in hard copy form, when requested.  All final deliveries of instrument documentation, training materials, and reports shall be delivered in PDF format. 

On occasion, the Project Officer may request modifications to survey instruments and/or materials.

4.2.6 Recruiting, training and managing data collection specialists

The contractor shall develop procedures and materials to efficiently train all data collection staff.  Some training shall occur before each year of data collection.  Training programs shall be designed so that all data collection staff performing the same function have the same training in content and in method. The initial training session for all new data collection specialists shall be face to face.  Training manuals and materials may be adapted from those used in the current MEPS contract.

The contractor shall develop and conduct a training program for data collection specialists.  The contractor shall develop procedures and materials to train all data collection staff before the beginning of data collection, as appropriate.  Training programs shall be designed to ensure that all data collection specialist staff performing the same function receive the same training, in both content and in method.   Training manuals and materials can be adapted from those used in the current MEPS MPC.

Following training, data collection specialists should be able, at a minimum to: a) identify and reach appropriate respondents in physician offices and other medical facilities; b) explain the nature and purpose of the survey and answer questions commonly asked by medical and billing staff in deciding whether or not to cooperate with data collection; c) arrange with medical and billing staff any of a variety of methods for obtaining the required data; d) collect the data, if appropriate, and know procedures for probing for data; e) know how to handle difficult respondents and potential refusals; f) know when and how to correctly use manuals, references and guides; g) know how to completely, accurately and in a timely manner process all administrative forms.

In addition to the capabilities described above, supervisory personnel shall be able to perform the following functions: a) observe data collection specialists, recording instances of appropriate and inappropriate behavior and conveying these observations to the data collections specialist in a constructive fashion; b) counsel data collection specialists on appropriate handling of unusual situations; c) monitor data collection specialist production, time and expense and keep these and other performance measures at appropriate levels; d) conduct data collection specialist training sessions so that all data collection specialists shall receive, in substance and quality, the same training; e) convert difficult refusals; f) identify errors of data collection staff they supervise and convey to them the results of this review in a constructive manner.

The contractor shall define and implement methods for selecting data collection staff, both supervisory and non-supervisory, which will reliably predict quality performance of all data collection activities.  The criteria will include previous work experience, work samples, and education.

The contractor shall also propose a staffing plan that will account for cyclical retention and work flow issues.

The contractor shall develop and implement detailed data collection instructions, rules and verification procedures with adjudication procedures specified.  The contractor will develop and maintain procedural manuals. In concert with AHRQ, a decision log will be maintained and followed as issues arise and decisions are made in how to handle different data collection situations.The decision log will be made available to all data collection specialists and all data collection specialists will know how to use the decision log. This will ensure consistent data collection procedures. On a regular basis as determined by the contractor in consultation with AHRQ, the decision log will be incorporated into the procedural manual.

Each data collection specialist's work shall be checked at 100 percent during the first two weeks of data collection.Each data collection specialist must achieve an error of 2 percent or lower for each group of data elements (charge and payment data being one group, medical condition data being another group, etc.) with charge and payment data being the most important group .Currently, the error rate is calculated as the number of collected variables for which there is disagreement and/or the number of variables that are missing as the numerator and the total number of collected variables generated by the data collection specialist as the denominator.  As each data collection specialist achieves the target error rate or better, verification can be reduced to a ten percent batch sample of each data collection specialist's work.  Batches exceeding the target error rate based on the sample shall be subjected to 100 percent verification.  Verification and adjudication shall occur within 2 working days of the end of a batch to provide feedback to the data collection specialist. Data collection specialists who cannot achieve and/or maintain an acceptable error rate shall be released from the project.

The error rate percentage and methodology can be modified in consultation with and approval by AHRQ. When requested, error rate reports will be provided to the Government.

4.2.7 Recruiting, training and managing abstraction staff

The contractor shall develop procedures and materials to efficiently train all abstraction staff.  Some training shall occur before each year of abstraction.  Training programs shall be designed so that all abstraction staff performing the same function will have the same training in content and in method. The initial training session for all new data abstractors shall be face to face.  Training manuals and materials may be adapted from those used in the current MEPS contract, if deemed appropriate.

The contractor shall develop and conduct a training program for abstractors.  The contractor shall have the option of adapting already developed procedures and materials used in the current MPC or developing new procedures and materials to train all abstraction staff before the beginning of data collection.  Training programs shall be designed to ensure that all abstraction staff performing the same function receive the same training, in both content and in method. 

Following training, abstractors should be able, at a minimum to: a) abstract data items of interest to MEPS from medical and billing records at an acceptable error rate as determined by the Government, b) identify and reach appropriate respondents in hospitals and physician offices and other medical facilities; c) explain the nature and purpose of the MEPS MPC and answer questions commonly asked by medical and billing staff in terms of follow up phone calls and in deciding whether or not to participate; d) if necessary, be able to arrange with medical and billing staff any of a variety of methods for obtaining the data sought; e) collect the data, if appropriate and know procedures for probing for data; f) know how to handle difficult respondents and potential refusals; g) know when and how to correctly use manuals, references and guides; h) know how to completely, accurately and in a timely manner process all administrative forms.

In addition to the capabilities described above, supervisory personnel shall be able to perform the following functions: a) observe abstractors, recording instances of appropriate and inappropriate abstraction and/or general behavior and conveying these observations to the abstractors in a constructive fashion; b) counsel abstractors on appropriate handling of unusual situations; c) monitor abstraction production, time and expense and keep these and other performance measures at appropriate levels; d) conduct abstraction training sessions so that all abstractors shall receive, in substance and quality, the same training; e) identify errors of abstraction staff they supervise and convey to them the results of this review in a constructive manner, f) know in general the abstraction rules that apply in abstracting the data elements of interest to MEPS and be able to explain them to abstractors they supervise.

The contractor shall define and implement methods for selecting abstraction staff, both supervisory and non-supervisory, which will reliably predict quality performance of all abstraction activities.  The criteria will include previous work experience, work samples, and education.

The contractor shall also propose a staffing plan that will account for cyclical retention and work flow issues.

The contractor shall develop and implement detailed abstraction instructions, rules and verification procedures with adjudication procedures specified.  The contractor will develop and maintain procedural manuals. In concert with AHRQ, a decision log will be maintained and followed as issues arise and decisions are made in how to handle different data collection situations.The decision log will be made available to all data abstractors and all data abstractors will know how to use the decision log. This will ensure consistent data collection procedures. On a regular basis as determined by the contractor in consultation with AHRQ, the decision log will be incorporated into the procedural manual.

Each data abstractor's work shall be checked at 100 percent during the first two weeks of data collection.Each abstractor must achieve an error of 2 percent or lower for each group of data elements (charge and payment data being one group, medical condition data being another group, etc.) with charge and payment data being the most important group. Currently, the error rate is calculated as the number of abstracted variables for which there is disagreement and/or the number of variables that are missing as the numerator and the total number of collected variables generated by the abstractor as the denominator.  As each abstractor achieves the target error rate or better, verification can be reduced to a ten percent batch sample of each abstractor's work.  Batches exceeding the target error rate based on the sample shall be subjected to 100 percent verification.  Verification and adjudication shall occur within 2 working days of the end of a batch to provide feedback to the abstractor. Abstractors who cannot achieve and/or maintain an acceptable error rate shall be released from the project.

The error rate percentage and methodology can be modified in consultation with and approval by AHRQ. When requested, error rate reports will be provided to the Government.

4.2.8 Collecting data from medical providers including billing staff

The sample of the MEPS MPC is designed to provide data on events for which household respondents are less likely to be fully aware of the financial transactions regarding the medical care received, to enrich the sample of events available as donors for imputation, and to provide a basis for methodological analysis of household reported payments for all types of events.  The MPC sample consists of providers specifically identified in the MEPS HC as having provided medical care to MEPS sampled persons. The MPC sample can be split into the following groups for data collection operations:

(1) Hospitals.  All hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals, reported as the site of care for inpatient stays, outpatient department visits and emergency room encounters shall be included in the MPC sample.

(2) Hospital physicians.  Physicians identified by hospitals as providing care to sampled persons during the course of a hospital event (inpatient stay, outpatient visit, emergency room visit) who render bills apart from the hospital facility shall be included in the MPC sample.

(3) Office based sample. All office based physicians providing care to HC sampled persons shall be eligible for the MPC sample.  HMOs are included in this data collection effort.

(4) Home health care providers.  All agency home health care providers providing care to MEPS HC sampled persons shall be included in the MPC sample.

(5) Pharmacies.  All pharmacies that have dispensed prescribed medicines to sampled persons shall be included in the MPC sample.

(6) Long term health care facilities—all long term health care facilities (nursing home, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, etc.) providing care to MEPS HC sampled persons shall be included in the MPC sample.

All hospitals, home health care agencies and pharmacies and long term health care health facilities (including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc.) are "in scope" for the MPC.  Other providers and sites of care are in-scope for MPC (office based sample) if the provider is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, or if the provider works under the direction and/or supervision of a MD or DO.  For example, physician assistants and nurse practitioners working in clinics are medical providers considered in scope for the MPC.  Chiropractors and dentists are out of scope (unless practicing in a hospital). Medical care received in prisons and jails and medical care received outside the United States is considered out of scope for the MPC.

Based on historical sample projections, AHRQ anticipates the eligible MPC sample for 2009 to be as identified in Table 4.2.8(A):

Table 4.2.8(A)—MPC sample size assumptions: pair level

Activity

Estimate for 2009

Household Completes

14,500

Hospitals  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.83  x HC completes)

12,022

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

10,820

HMO  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.04 x HC completes)

550

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

495

Long term care  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.01 x HC completes)

98

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

88

Home health  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.04 x HC completes)

580

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

522

Office Based Physicians  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (HC completes x 2)

24,560

Expected completed pairs (final n x 90% response rate)

22,104

Hospital Identified Physicians  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (HC completes x 1.34)

19,405

Expected completed pairs (final n x 90% response rate)

17,465

Pharmacy  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (HC completes x 1.42)

20,660

Expected completed pairs (final n x 85% response rate)

17,561

The MPC sample to provide data for 2009 estimates is composed of two parts—- providers associated with 2009 events for persons enrolled in MEPS beginning in 2008 and providers associated with 2009 events for persons enrolled in MEPS beginning in 2009.  The sample for the 2009 MEPS households associated with the 2009 panel will be identified under the MEPS HC contract issued in tandem with this contract.  The sample of providers associated with the 2008 panel is identified under the current MEPS contract.  For 2009 events encountered by persons/ households in the 2008 HC panel and the 2009 HC panel, the Government will provide sample frame materials and appropriate hard copy materials, including permission forms, to the contractor.

Data collection methods may include phone, fax, mail, self administration, and electronic transmission (including CD-ROMS and secure transmission on line or via the Internet). Each year of the MPC, all providers shall be screened to ascertain their eligibility, their association with the MEPS household respondent, and to obtain information to facilitate the conduct of the core MPC interview.  Historically, a paper and pencil method of data collection has been used.The Government is open to alternatives to the current data collection methods being used in the MPC data collection.The data collection method chosen for a provider will be the method that results in the most complete and accurate data with least burden to the provider. Technology for data capture from medical providers is continually evolving and monitoring of this technology and maintaining compatibility with these systems is critical. Response rates for the MPC medical providers are expected to be at least 90 percent for medical care providers and for pharmacies at least 85 percent.

The schedule for data collection and data delivery will be dependent on dates the HC contract has in terms of producing the public use files. There may be different data collection schedules, data collection methods, and data delivery schedules for different MPC provider types. For all provider types except prescribed medicines, the MPC contractor will deliver the post-matched (not disguised) files and other required materials to AHRQ four months prior to public use file release of the files. For prescribed medicines, the post-matched, post-edited and post-imputed file and other required materials will be delivered two and one half months prior to public use file release of the prescribed medicine file.

At a minimum a data collection schedule similar to the one currently followed will have to be met: data collection for all event types except separately billing doctors will begin in late February following the data collection year of interest and will end in mid-November. For separately billing doctors, data collection will begin in mid-November following the data collection year of interest and will end in mid-March. The Government is open to alternatives to the data collection schedule and method. The method of data collection is now done in waves, e.g., the Contractor organizes several provider-pair requests for data in one data collection effort. This happens for 2-3 waves and then providers are followed up with again as necessary.

For each provider type, official notification in the form of a deliverable must be provided to the Government indicating to the Government that the data collection task is complete and the date it was completed, as well as all necessary QC and final results of the data collection.

During field operations, field progress will be reported bi-weekly to the Project officer and cost reports shall be reported monthly to the Project Officer.  An agreed upon format for the field progress and cost reports will be agreed upon by the Contractor and the AHRQ Project Officer. This schedule may vary at certain times during data collection and requests for this must either be generated from the Project Officer or by approval of the Project Officer. Supervision through supervised data collection and abstraction, reviews of individual data collection and abstraction and other means of observation and verifications shall be maintained to assure the quality of the data.  The contractor shall arrange for systematic and timely reporting of quality control data to the Project Officer.  The contractor shall maintain toll-free telephone communications for respondents (and data collection specialists and abstractors, if necessary) with the central office so that all questions can be answered efficiently, and problems anticipated will be dealt with proactively.

4.3 Data Processing

4.3.1 Providing data security

The Contractor shall provide for the secure and confidential storage of all hardcopy materials and computer files, as specified by the Project Officer.  In addition, the Contractor shall provide for the secure and confidential transmission of data between the central office, data collection staff and abstractors, as well as for the secure storage of information residing on the MPC staff computers or laptops, if necessary.  The contractor shall also set up and maintain a secure encrypted data transmission line so that confidential data and documents can be transmitted from the contractor to AHRQ. The Government will provide hardware to the contractor for the encrypted line. Within 30 days of award, the contractor shall submit a draft, and within 90 days a final plan and implementation schedule for data security.  The plan and actual implementation for data security shall conform to all current government regulations for the use and storage of confidential data.

4.3.1.1 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Contractors eligible for this contract more than likely routinely collect sensitive data. Although the data collected under this contract are not covered under HIPAA (AHRQ is not a covered entity because it is not a: health plan; health care clearinghouse; or a health care provider that electronically transmits health information), many providers of the data will want to be assured HIPAA like standards being followed. Contractors are expected to protect the security and confidentiality of data, databases, project files, and any individually identifiable information associated with the project using procedures that would address these concerns.

4.3.1.2 Privacy Act

  • The Contractor shall be responsible for the security and the privacy of the system. All Federal public Web sites must comply with Section 207(f)(1)(b)(iv) of the E-Gov Act of 2002, which requires organizations to have security protocols to protect information.
  • The Contractor shall comply with all Federal and HHS security guidelines that are in effect at the time of the award of this contract. U.S. Laws, Office of Management and Budget requirements, HHS Policies and Guides, and Federal Government Computer Security Policy and Guides are provided via the Internet: http://www.hhs.gov/ocio/security/docs.htmlhttp://www.hhs.gov/ocio/securityprivacy/pglandreports/polguidlegrep.html
  • The Contractor shall insure that the Web sites and data are secured behind appropriate perimeter defense technologies and that these technologies are programmatically monitored for anomalous traffic behavior(s).
  • The Contractor shall immediately report any unauthorized access to the Project Officer and or System Owner.
  • The Contractor shall insure that PII (Personally Identifiable Information, defined by FOIA II) data is never allowed on a system with public (Internet) access unless given expressed permission from the contracting officer.
  • The Contractor shall conduct and maintain a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) as defined by Section 208 of the E-Government Act of 2002 and FAR Clause 52-239-1. Periodic reviews shall be conducted to determine if a major change to the system has occurred, and if a PIA update is needed.
    • Contractor shall abide by all requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 and FAR Clause 52-239-1. Pursuant to those requirements, contractor will publish a System of Record (SOR) notice in the Federal Register when a new System of Records is to be created and will publish an updated SOR notice following a "major change" as defined by Office of Memorandum and Budget Memorandum 03-22 or subsequent replacement guidance. The Privacy Act clauses cited in Section I (FAR 52.224-1 and 52.224-2) are applicable to the consultant records kept by the Contractor for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
    • You are hereby notified that the Contractor and its employees are subject to criminal penalties for violations of the Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(i)) to the same extent as employees of the Department.  The Contractor shall assure that each Contractor employee is aware that he/she can be subjected to criminal penalties for violations of the Act.  Disposition instructions:  Records are to be destroyed after contract closeout is completed and final payment is made and in accordance with  IRS regulations.

(a) Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

  • The Contractor shall conduct a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-conforming Certification &Accreditation process of the System prior to the System being placed into production. Such C&A will be compliant to all PL-107-347 requirements, Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) mandates (http://www.itl.nist.gov/fipspubs/), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidance. This guidance includes, but is not limited to NIST 800-18, 800-30, 800-37, 800-53 (with appropriate baseline control sets), and 800-60, FIPS 199, FIPS 200 and is available on the Internet: http://csrc.nist.gov/.
  • The System Security Plan (SSP) produced for the C&A will, at a minimum, contain provisions for:
    • A Tested Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
    • Computer Incident Response Capability (CIRC)
    • Access Controls containing i.) Rules of Behavior, and ii.) Appropriate Use Policies
    • Annual Security Awareness Training requirement
    • PIA (Privacy Impact Analysis)
    • CCP (Change Control Procedures)
    • Appropriate NIST 800-53 Control Set with an appropriate Supplemental Control Set. Control Sets will be appropriate to the SC (Security Classification) determined by using FIPS-199 and NIST 800-60 requirements and guidance.

At the conclusion of the C&A process the contractor shall provide an out-brief to the System Owner (SO, who will be the Project Officer) and Information Owner(s) that will describe in detail the requirements of the Continuous Monitoring Phase for the succeeding calendar year (from the date of the Accreditation letter from the Designated Approval Authority [DAA]). Further, the Contractor will identify to the SO all known requirements of FISMA compliance to include reporting, continuing Risk Analyses, Plan of Action and Milestones (P.O.A.&M) completion, and a discussion that imparts a clear understanding to the SO of the Risk Profile (including Residual Risk) of the System covered in the C&A process.

  • Information Systems Security Training:

AHRQ and HHS policy requires contractors receive security training commensurate with their responsibilities for performing work under the terms and conditions of their contractual agreements.

The contractor will be responsible for assuring that each contractor employee has completed the AHRQ Security Awareness Training as required by AHRQ prior to performing any contract work, and on an annual basis thereafter, during the period of performance of the contract. The contractor shall maintain a listing of all individuals who have completed this training and shall submit this listing to the Project Officer.

  • Additional security training requirements commensurate with the position may be required as defined in NIST Special Publication 800-16, Information Technology Security Training Requirements (http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-16/800-16.pdf). The document above provides information about information security training that may be useful to potential offerors. The contractor shall maintain a list of all individuals who have significant security responsibilities that have completed the AHRQ_Combined_Security_Training and submit the list to the Project Officer.
  • Access to HHS electronic mail:

All Contractor staff that have access to and use of HHS electronic mail (E-mail) must identify themselves as contractors on all outgoing E-mail messages, including those that are sent in reply or are forwarded to another user. To best comply with this requirement, the contractor staff shall set up an E-mail signature ("AutoSignature") or an electronic business card ("V-card") on each contractor employee's computer system and/or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) that will automatically display "Contractor" in the signature area of all E-mails sent.

  • Commitment to Protect Departmental Information Systems and Data

Contractor Agreement:

The Contractor shall not release, publish, or disclose Departmental information to unauthorized personnel, and shall protect such information in accordance with provisions of the following laws and any other pertinent laws and regulations governing the confidentiality of sensitive information:

  • 18 U.S.C. 641 (Criminal Code: Public Money, Property or Records)
  • 18 U.S.C. 1905 (Criminal Code: Disclosure of Confidential Information)
  • Public Law 96-511 (Paperwork Reduction Act)

Contractor-Employee Non-Disclosure Agreements:

Each contractor employee who may have access to sensitive Department information under this contract shall complete Commitment to Protect Non-Public Information—Contractor Agreement. A copy of each signed and witnessed Non-Disclosure agreement shall be submitted to the Project Officer prior to performing any work under the contract.

  • Encryption:

The contractor shall: (a) encrypt all of its laptop computers and other mobile devices and portable media which store or process sensitive HHS data using Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 compliant encryption; (b) verify that encryption products have been validated under the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (http://csrc.nist.gov/cryptval/) to confirm compliance with FIPS 140-2; (c) establish key recovery mechanisms to ensure the ability to decrypt and recover sensitive information by authorized personnel; and (d) generate and manage encryption keys securely to prevent unauthorized decryption of information.

For purposes of this contract, information is considered sensitive if the loss of confidentiality or integrity could be expected to have a serious, severe or catastrophic adverse effect on organizational operations, organizational assets, or individuals. [1]

Further, the loss of sensitive information confidentiality or integrity might: (i) cause a significant or severe degradation in mission capability to an extent and duration that the organization is unable to perform its primary functions or the effectiveness of the functions is significantly reduced; (ii) result in significant or major damage to organizational assets; (iii) result in significant or major financial loss; or (iv) result in significant, severe or catastrophic harm to individuals.

  • Security Configurations:

The provider of information technology shall certify applications are fully functional and operate correctly as intended on systems using the HHS Core Configurations. These standard configurations will be published and maintained at: http://intranet.hhs.gov/infosec/docs/policies_guides/MCS/smcs_toc.htm. Being that this is located on the HHS intranet and can only be viewed by those connected to the HHS network. However, the template will be made available when needed. As standard configurations may change frequently, providers must ensure applications meet the most recent set of security configurations at the time of acquisition or contract initiation.

The standard installation, operation, maintenance, updates, and/or patching of software shall not alter the configuration settings from the approved HHS Core Configurations.

Applications designed for normal end users shall run in the standard user context without elevated system administration privileges.

Exceptions to the HHS Core Configurations must be noted and approved by the HHS Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and the OPDIV CISO in advance of implementation.

References

(1) HHS Information Security Program Policy: http://www.hhs.gov/ohr/manual/pssh.pdf

(2) HHS Personnel Security/Suitability Handbook: http://www.hhs.gov/ohr/manual/pssh.pdf

(3) NIST Special Publication 800-16, Information Technology Security Training Requirements: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-16/800-16.pdf

Appendix A-D: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-16/AppendixA-D.pdf

(4) NIST SP 800-18, Guide for Developing Security Plans for Information Technology Systems: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/index.html

(5) NIST SP 800-60, Guide for Mapping Types of Information and Information Systems to Security Categories, Volume I: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-60-rev1/SP800-60_Vol1-Rev1.pdf

(6) NIST SP 800-60, Guide for Mapping Types of Information and Information Systems to Security Categories, Volume II: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-60-rev1/SP800-60_Vol2-Rev1.pdf

(7) NIST SP 800-37, Guide for Security Certification and Accreditation of Federal Information Systems: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-37/SP800-37-final.pdf

(8) Recommended Security Controls for a Federal Information System: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-53A/SP800-53A-final-sz.pdf

(9) NIST SP 800-26, Security Self Assessment Guide for Information Technology Systems: (now superseded by SP 800-53)

(10) NIST SP 800-64, Security Considerations in the Information System Development Life Cycle: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-64/NIST-SP800-64.pdf

(11) Federal Information Processing Standards, Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips199/FIPS-PUB-199-final.pdf

(12) Federal Information Processing Standards, Minimum Security Requirements for a Federal Information System: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips200/FIPS-200-final-march.pdf

(13) Cryptographic Module Validation Program: http://csrc.nist.gov/cryptval/

4.3.1.4 IT Acquisitions

The Contractor will assist the Government in production of Exhibit 300 materials.

If an offeror decides to automate all or pieces of the MPC operations and processes, IT acquisitions may be necessary.

4.3.1.5 Research Involving Human Subjects.

Federal policy for the protection of human research subjects-45CFR46.Regulation applies to all research conducted or supported by the Federal government. Except for exempt projects, all Federal research involving human subjects or identifiable private information about a living individual must be subject to Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval.It is anticipated that the data collection activities for this contract will require an IRB review. Completely anonymous or de-identified public use datasets, like the MEPS Public Use Data Files, may request this exemption. Federal Statute requires without exception that the confidentiality of personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.

4.3.2 Forms control and receipt

The contractor shall develop and implement data and forms receipt procedures that achieve the greatest efficiency.  These procedures shall include the monitoring and quality control of each stage of data receipt, procedures for identifying and handling data collection instruments, procedures for insuring transmission of data and other communication between the central office and data collection and abstraction staff.  The means for tracking the receipt of electronic and hard copy materials (such as medical and billing records) and flagging overdue or outstanding materials, electronic or hardcopy documents related to a case shall be provided.

4.3.3 Data entry

If the data is collected in hard copy, the contractor shall develop, reproduce and implement detailed scanning and keying, training and verification procedures.  Verification shall begin at a rate of 100 percent and continue until a specific rate of one percent or less is consistently achieved.  Once the one percent error rate is achieved, verification shall be reduced to a ten percent sample of each day's work for each scanner or keyer.  Batches with error rates in the sample of greater than one percent shall be subject to 100 percent verification.  Keyers who cannot achieve and/or maintain an error rate below one percent shall be released.

The government is open to revisions to the current process. If a different data collection method or separate data entry is proposed, the contractor shall develop and define that process.

When requested, error rate reports will be provided to the Government.

4.3.4 Conducting training program for coders and verifiers to the extent this activity is not performed in data capture activity

The MEPS MPC data collection instrument contains a number of text fields that need to be converted to numeric form.  These include.

(1) Sources of payment information reported in the MPC according to the memoranda in the exhibits. Source of payment specification will be provided to the contractor after awarding of the contract.

(2) All conditions including verbatim conditions reported during the MPC data collection—these shall be classified using the ICD-9-CM classification scheme.

(3) All prescribed drugs reported in the MPC data collection.  Any verbatim mentions shall be converted into NDC codes, to the extent possible, or to an appropriate disaggregated code when NDC coding is not possible.All NDC codes will further be coded using a coding scheme which will allow matching between household drug mentions and MPC drug mentions.

(4) All supplies identified in the MPC shall be coded using BETOS coding specifications

The contractor shall develop and conduct a training program for coders and verifiers.  The contractor shall develop and implement detailed coding instructions, rules and verification procedures with adjudication procedures specified. A procedural manual will be developed and maintained for coders and verifiers. This will ensure consistent coding for all coders. Each coder's work shall be checked at 100 percent during the first two weeks of coding or until the error rate is less than 2 percent, where the error rate is calculated as the number of codes for which there is disagreement as the numerator and the total number of codes generated by the coder as the denominator.  As each coder achieves the target error rate or better, verification can be reduced to a ten percent batch sample of each coder's work.  Batches exceeding the target error rate based on the sample shall be subjected to 100 percent verification.  Verification and adjudication shall occur within 2 working days of the end of a batch to provide feedback to the coder. Coders who cannot achieve and/or maintain an acceptable error rate shall be released from the project.

The contractor will develop and maintain a coding and verifying procedural manual(s). In concert with AHRQ, a decision log will be maintained and followed as issues arise and decisions are made in how to handle different coding situations.The decision log will be made available to all coders and verifiers and all coders and verifiers will know how to use the decision log. This will ensure consistent coding and verification procedures. On a regular basis as determined by the contractor in consultation with AHRQ, the decision log will be incorporated into the procedural manual.

When requested, error rate reports will be provided to the Government.

All coding mechanisms employed in the MPC will need to mirror those used on the HC of the MEPS contract to ensure appropriate linkages and matching between the files as the files will be used by each contractor.

4.3.5 Matching

The contractor shall develop specifications for matching data collected in the Medical Provider Component with complementary data collected in the Household Component.  These specifications will include step by step delineation of the method to be used for matching individual household and medical provider reported events and a complete detailed listing of the variables that will be needed from the household survey to implement that process. The specification of the matching methodology will include identification of the process for rolling up and de-duplicating the raw MPC data so that each record is a unique medical event, MPC pre-matching consistency checks and logical edits, the specific matching procedure to be used for each event type (hospital, office based, separately billing doctor, home health, pharmacy and long term health care), the post matching quality control process, and the structure of the matched files.The list of needed household variables will be forwarded to the household data collection contractor, who will then provide the requested variables and appropriate documentation.The MPC contractor will deliver copies of the raw MPC files for each event type to AHRQ, and copies of the matched files to AHRQ (which will go to the HC contractor via AHRQ). The matched files must also include necessary matching and linking variables.

The MPC contractor will use existing 2005 HC and MPC data which will be provided by the Government to develop and test the matching procedures and methodology before the production of the 2010 files.  Currently, for all medical provider event types but prescribed medicines, a probabilistic statistical procedure based on the Automatch program is used to link household and medical provider events.  Detailed specifications for this method and the prescribed drug method will be provided on award.  Enhancements or revisions to improve matching are encouraged, subject to review and approval by the Project Officer.  Within 9 months of the award of this contract the contractor will provide the Project Officer with a methodological report containing detailed specifications for the contractors proposed matching process and for the production of the linked HC-MPC data files.

Available for review are: 1) Probability matching of medical events, M. Winglee, et.al., Journal of Economic and Social Measurement 23 (1999) pp. 1-12; 2) draft report, Probability matching of medical events for the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 3) MEPS Prescribed Drug Editing and Analytic Specifications and 4) Methodology Report, Outpatient Prescription Drugs: Data Collection and Editing in the 1996 Medical Expenditure Survey (HC-010A).

4.3.6 Developing internal MPC data files, matched HC and MPC files and an edited and imputed prescribed medicines files

The main goal of this procurement is the delivery of high quality, timely and accurate data to AHRQ which will then go to the MEPS HC contractor. To this end, AHRQ requires the development of internal (non public) MPC files for all MPC event types (hospital stays, emergency room visits, outpatient visits, separately billing doctors, office based provider visits, home health care, prescribed medicines, and long term health care) and documentation.  The MPC Contractor will receive the MPC sample from which these files will be prepared from the HC contractor as well as all necessary authorization forms via AHRQ. The contractor will also receive from the HC contractor (via AHRQ) the necessary data and linking variables to perform the matching process between MPC and HC events.The MPC contractor will provide documentation for the files as well as for the matching process used in the MPC to HC matching. Matched HC and MPC files will be provided with detailed documentation.

The MPC contractor will use existing 2005 HC and MPC data which will be provided by the Government to develop and test the matching procedures and methodology before the production of the 2010 files.  Currently for all medical provider event types but prescribed medicines, a probabilistic statistical procedure based on the Automatch program is used to link household and medical provider events.  Detailed specifications for this method and the prescribed drug method will be provided on award.  Enhancements or revisions to improve matching are encouraged, subject to review and approval by the Project Officer.  Within 9 months of the award of this contract, the contractor will provide the Project Officer with a methodological report containing detailed specifications for the contractor's proposed matching process and for the production of the linked HC-MPC data files

4.3.6.1 Prescribed Medicines

As part of the analytic file efforts, for the prescribed medicines file only, the MPC contractor shall complete all of the following:  (1) design, test and implement procedures to edit, raw data, including resolution of inconsistencies (2) perform imputations of prescribed medicines expenditure data using weighted sequential hotdeck and/or other appropriate statistical methods, (3) perform quality control checks on final versions of files.  These checks shall entail at a minimum producing population-weighted frequencies of selected variables and benchmarking the results against other sources of similar information; editing data to conform to the standards and specifications for prescribed medicines; implementing methods (using data collected through the Medical Provider Component) to replace missing data for all payment sources for each acquisition; and HC-MPC matching activities.

Pharmacy data also will have to be reviewed for confidentiality concerns prior to final file development. Drugs can be considered so rare or used for such a specific condition that they need to be disguised prior to public release. There are procedures in place in the current MEPS activities where these types of reviews are performed. Upon award, the Government will provide output for these types of reviews as well as the current specifications/rules that are followed.The Government is open to suggestions by the MPC contractor for possible alternatives to the current confidentiality review process. In addition, certain Cerner Multum variables will have to be merged onto the fully edited and imputed prescribed medicines files. Again, upon award, the Government will provide the Contractor with the current programs to do such merging.

Detailed quality control runs will be performed for prescribed medicines estimates that will help in the QC and benchmarking process.

Each year, AHRQ will provide Veteran's Administration price data to be used in the prescribed drug editing and imputation.

The MPC contractor will use existing 2005 HC and MPC data which will be provided by the Government to develop and test the editing and imputation procedures and methodology before the production of the 2010 files.   Detailed specifications for the current prescribed medicines editing and imputation will be provided on award. Enhancements or revisions to improve matching are encouraged, subject to review and approval by the Project Officer.  Within 10 months of the award of this contract, the contractor will provide the Project Officer with a methodological report containing detailed specifications for the contractor's proposed editing and imputation process and for the production of the edited, imputed, and matched prescribed medicines internal non-public file that will be in a state ready for public use development.

4.3.7 Internal Files Production and Deliveries

As part of its efforts, the contractor shall:  (1) design, test and implement procedures to clean raw data, including resolution of inconsistencies, (2) perform quality control checks on final version of matched files, (3) produce and deliver internal MPC files that include matched and unmatched data (4) produce matched files and necessary matching variables and documentation, (5) produce fully edited and imputed prescribed medicines file, that is ready for public use file development, and documentation (this will file will include merged on Cerner Multum variables).

The Contractor shall organize the data collected in the MPC into data files usable with the SAS statistical software package with documentation.

All data file deliveries shall include the following:

   * The original uncleaned flat file and complete documentation for the file.

   * The final rolled up matched version of each event file (cleaned version) with:

        * A codebook containing variable names, labels, and formats, as well as weighted and unweighted frequencies for each formatted variable. Totals will also be provided. Positional information will be provided as will variable length and variable type.

        * Documentation containing variable names and descriptions.

   * For prescribed medicines only, the final rolled up matched, edited and imputed version of the event file (cleaned version) with:

        * A codebook containing variable names, labels, and formats, as well as weighted and unweighted frequencies for each formatted variable. Totals will also be provided. Positional information will be provided as will variable length and variable type.

        * Documentation containing variable names and descriptions.

   * Variable formats and a crosswalk between the data collection instrument and the variables produced shall also be included. 

   * Matching specifications, and matching variables and documentation

   * Editing and imputation specifications for prescribed medicines and editing and imputation variables and documentation

   * Appropriate, timely and QC'd deliveries and matched data files to go to HC contractor (through AHRQ) that will include detailed documentation.This deliverable will also include matching variables as well MPC variables needed for editing and imputation. For prescribed drug file, AHRQ will receive edited, matched pre-imputation and post imputation files, all matching and editing and imputation variables as well as the consolidated post imputation file that will be ready for public use file development. 

4.3.8 Quality Control

The contractor shall develop a quality control plan that provides details of how quality control will be addressed for all major deliverables and tasks. The plan shall detail how they shall monitor and control the services provided in terms of: timeliness, accuracy, relevance, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, technical requirements and contract provisions.

This plan shall identify which quality standards are relevant to the project and determine how to satisfy them. The contractor will apply the quality control activities identified in the plan and monitor specific project results to determine whether they comply with relevant quality standards. The contractor will identify ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance. At a minimum this plan shall address:

   * Overall project quality control including any proposed evaluations addressing efforts to reduce errors, data collection specialist, abstractor and coder monitoring, training and retraining of staff, change control process, planning for cyclical changes in staffing and workload.

   * Identification of major data quality indicators that require weekly monitoring during data collection (missing data, response rate)

   * Data capture instrument change—question development, programming, if needed, testing and evaluation

   * Version control for documentation, forms, and memos, and design changes

   * A check list of items to be verified for all data deliverables (is the number of records correct, has benchmarking been completed and if so, what were the results of the benchmarking), has the documentation and cover memo been checked for accuracy)

   * Adequate and timely documentation to assure repeatability of all data capture and matching, as well as prescribed medicines editing and imputation activities

   * Adequate and timely review of prescribed medicines for potential confidentiality risks

   * The development and maintenance of decision logs and procedural manuals for all data coding, data entry, data collection, data editing, data abstraction, and verification activities

   * Benchmarking to external and previous year MEPS estimates for key data elements as defined by AHRQ, with particular emphasis on expenditure and source of payment variables

   * Plan to enumerate abstraction standards and monitor abstraction error rates

   * Plan to enumerate coding standards and monitor coding error rates

   * Setting up a structure in which responses to requests by providers can be immediate when necessary and will not have a 24-48 hour lag

   * Setting up 1-800 or 1-888 number standards and procedures for monitoring responses for response time and technical accuracy

   * Quality of advanced information (information sent to the respondent organization prior to requesting the data)- impact changes have on participation, procedures for producing and updating advanced information, evaluation of contact and follow up procedures

   * Supervisor related QC activities

4.4 Government-furnished Property

The contractor shall also set up and maintain a secure encrypted data transmission line so that confidential data and documents can be transmitted from the contractor to AHRQ.The Government will provide hardware to the contractor for the encrypted line.

5.0 Options and Incremental Funding

Unless the Government exercises its option(s) pursuant to the Option Clause, the contract will consist only of the Base Period of the Statement of Work as defined in Attachment 1 and Section F of the contract. Pursuant to FAR clause 52.217-8, the Government may, by unilateral contract modification, require the Contractor to perform Option Periods 1, 2, and/or 3 of the Statement of Work as also defined in Attachment 1 and Section F of this contract. If the Government exercises any option, notice must be given at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of this contract, and the estimated cost (plus any fees) of the contract will be increased as set forth by the budget.

Option Period 1

The contractor shall continue all tasks and shall be repeated for the 2010 MPC with the sample specified below.

Option Period 2

The contractor shall continue all tasks and shall be repeated for the 2011 MPC with the sample specified below.  

Option Period 3

The contractor shall continue all tasks and shall be repeated for the 2012 MPC with the sample specified below.

Based on historical sample projections, AHRQ anticipates the eligible MPC sample for the option years to be:

MPC sample size assumption for option years: pair level

Activity

Estimate for 2010, 2011, 2012

Household Completes

14,500

Hospitals  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.83  x HC completes)

12,022

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

10,820

HMO  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.04 x HC completes)

550

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

495

Long term care  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.01 x HC completes)

98

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

88

Home health  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (.04 x HC completes)

580

Expected completed pairs (final n x response rate of 90%)

522

Office Based Physicians  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (HC completes x 2)

24,560

Expected completed pairs (final n x 90% response rate)

22,104

Hospital Identified Physicians  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (HC completes x 1.34)

19,405

Expected completed pairs (final n x 90% response rate)

17,465

Pharmacy  
Initial sample for which permission to contact is available minus out of scope (HC completes x 1.42)

20,660

Expected completed pairs (final n x 85% response rate)

17,561

6.0 MEPS MPC Reference Materials see Section L

SECTION D—PACKAGING AND MARKING

Not Applicable

SECTION E—INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE

E.1 INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE

   a. The contracting officer or the duly authorized representative will perform inspection and acceptance of materials and services to be provided.

   b. For the purpose of this SECTION the Government Project Officer is the authorized technical representative of the contracting officer.

   c. Inspection and acceptance will be performed at:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850

E.2 CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (FEB 1998)

This contract incorporates the following clause by reference, with the same force and effect as if it were given in full text. Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make its full text available.

FAR Clause No. Title and Date

52.246-5 Inspection of Services-Cost Reimbursement (April 1984)

SECTION F—PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE AND DELIVERY SCHEDULE

F.1 CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (FEB 1998)

This contract incorporates the following clause by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text. Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make their full text available.

FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION (FAR) (48 CFR CHAPTER 1) CLAUSES

FAR Clause No. Title and Date

52.242-15 Stop Work Order (AUG 1989)

F.2. DELIVERY SCHEDULE

The items specified for delivery below are subject to the review and approval of the Project Officer before final acceptance.  The Contractor shall be required to make revisions deemed necessary by the Project Officer.

The Contractor shall produce the following scheduled reports/deliverables in the amount, and within the time frame indicated.  Deliverables shall be submitted to the Project Officer, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, Maryland 20850 (Phone: To Be Completed at Time of Contract Award).

For all plans and specifications a draft will be submitted to the Project Officer for review and approval at least 6 weeks prior to the final deliverable is due. If after review the Project Offeror finds any of the dates provided as unacceptable, an alternative schedule should be proposed.  Final deliverables are those incorporating changes requested by the Project Officer.  Survey questionnaires refer to both hard copy representations as well as executable computer software that can be reviewed by the Government.

Each deliverable shall include a machine readable copy in the word processing package supported by AHRQ (current version of Word). In addition, the Contractor will submit to the Project Officer a naming and numbering convention that aids in the identification of the deliverables.

Dates are in months (M) or weeks (W)s or days (Ds)  from the effective date of the contract unless otherwise specified.

The Contractor shall submit the following items in accordance with the stated delivery schedule (where a month is specified this is to be interpreted as the 15th of the month or the business day closest to the 15th):

The Contractor shall also submit the following items to the Contracting Officer: Management Meeting Minutes, Annual Methodology Report and Final Report.

F.2 PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

The period of performance for the Base Period of the contract shall be from the effective date of the contract through 42 months (3 years) thereafter with 3 Option Periods. The period of performance of each Option Period, if exercised, shall be for 42 months (3 years).The total time period for the base period and all option years is 80 months.

Option Period 1 may be exercised anytime after completion of the first year of the

Base Period. It is anticipated that Option Period 2 shall be exercised around July/August 2010. It is anticipated that Option Period 3 shall be exercised around July/August 2011.

F.3 DELIVERY SCHEDULE

The items specified for delivery below are subject to the review and approval of the Project Officer before final acceptance.  The Contractor shall be required to make revisions deemed necessary by the Project Officer.

The Contractor shall produce the following scheduled reports/deliverables in the amount, and within the time frame indicated.  Deliverables shall be submitted to the Project Officer, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, Maryland 20850 (Phone: To Be Completed at Time of Contract Award).

For all plans and specifications a draft will be submitted to the Project Officer for review and approval at least 6 weeks prior to the final deliverable due date. Final deliverables are those incorporating changes requested by the Project Officer. If after review of the offeror finds any of the dates provided unacceptable, an alternative schedule should be provided.

Each deliverable shall include a machine readable copy in PDF (unless directed otherwise by the Project Officer). In addition, the Contractor in consultation with the Project Officer will develop a naming convention that aids in the identification of the deliverables.

Dates are in months (M) or weeks (W)s or days (Ds)  from the effective date of the contract unless otherwise specified.

The Contractor shall submit the following items in accordance with the stated delivery schedule:

MEPS MPC Deliverables - Base Period

Deliverable Number Title Date
Panel 14, 2009
  Project Management Plan 30 Ds after effective date of contract
  Management meeting agenda including reports that will be discussed/reviewed at meeting 5 Ds before meeting
 

Management meeting minutes

10 Ds after meeting

 

Documentation of key decisions

10 Ds after decision

 

Annual Methodology Report 2009

February 2010

 

Methodology report on data collection for hospital physicians not included in the hospital bill

9 Ms after effective date of contract

 

Methodology report on matching (which will include results of matching demonstration)

9 Ms after effective date of contract

 

Develop and test the matching procedures and methodology on 2005 MEPS data and delivery of these matched files

9 Ms after effective date of contract

 

Specifications for sample preparation -2009 MEPS MPC

October 2008

 

Methodology report on prescribed drug editing and imputation (which will include results of prescribed drug editing and imputation)

10 Ms after effective date of contract

 

Develop and test the editing and imputation procedures and methodology on 2005 MEPS data and delivery of this file

10 Ms after effective date of contract

 

Plan for prescribed drug editing and imputation

February 2009

 

MPC training plan

September 2008

 

Plan for receipting and cataloging medical provider permission forms from HC contractor

9 Ms after effective date of contract

 

Plan for establishing the frame for the MPC sample, including unduplication

September 2008

 

Plan for preparing MPC files for fielding and back-linkage

September 2008

 

Plan for maintaining the frame for the MPC during fielding, including procedures for splits and merges

October 2008

 

Plan for the identification of hospital physicians, preparing the files for fielding and back-linkage

October 2008

 

Plan for data collection of hospital physicians not included in the hospital bill (include mock tables)

October 2008

 

Draft data collection instruments and respondent materials suitable for OMB clearance

8 Ms before use

 

Final respondent materials-(e.g., letters, brochures) for the MPC

November 2009

 

Final MPC data collection instruments

November 2009

 

Overall MPC data collection plan, including staffing plan, abstraction plan, quality control procedures, electronic communication and transmission arrangements, field cost and production reports (samples), response rate reports, and plan for multi-mode data collection (include mock tables)

October 2008

 

MPC staffing, recruitment and retention plan (include management in plan)

October 2008

 

Report on MPC data collection evaluating the overall MPC data collection plan (post data collection)

January 2011

 

MPC data collection specialist-training materials including a schedule, verbatim scripts, trainer, supervisor and data collection specialist manuals, mock examples and home study packages

2 Ms before use

 

MPC data collection specialist work processes plan which will include QC plan, and procedural manual

October 2008

 

MPC abstractor training materials including a schedule, verbatim scripts, trainer, supervisor and abstractor manuals, mock examples and home study packages

2 Ms before use

 

MPC abstraction work processes plan which will include QC plan and procedural manual

October 2008

 

MPC cost and progress data collection reports

Bi-weekly for data collection progress, and monthly for cost reports while in field

 

MPC response rate reports (pair and provider level)

Bi-weekly while in field

 

MPC data collection completed field period official notification with completion date and QC and final results (all provider types except separately billing doctors)

November 30 2010

 

MPC data collection completed field period official notification with completion date and QC and final results—separately billing doctors only

March 30 2011

 

Data processing plan-MPC

July 2008

 

Draft data security plan-MPC

4 Ws after contract award

 

Final data security plan-MPC

3 Ms after contract award, updated yearly

 

MPC data quality control plan-MPC

August 2008

 

Plan for forms control and receipt-MPC

1 M before field period

 

Plan for data entry-MPC

September 2008

 

Plan for matching MPC to HC events

January 2009

 

MPC coder training materials including a schedule, trainer, supervisor and coder manuals, mock examples and home study packages

2 Ms before use

 

MPC coder work processes plan which will include QC plan and procedural manual

October 2008

 

Coding plan for drugs, conditions/diagnoses, medical procedures and supplies including training materials and quality control specifications—MPC

October 2008

 

Coding plan for sources of payment including training materials and quality control specifications-MPC

October 2008

 

Separately billing doctors coding including training materials and quality control specifications

October 2008

 

Pharmacy provider, medical provider, and separately billing doctors provider coding plan

October 2008

 

The MPC files flattened to the event level, with provider characteristics and event type identification on each record

November 2010

 

Matching MPC to HC events

December 2010

 

Editing and Imputation of Prescribed Medicines Data

February 2011

 

Pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Home Health Care internal event file development

March 2011

 

Transferring of pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Home Health Care internal event file and documentation

March 15 2011

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched Home Health Care MPC file and documentation

March 15 2011

 

Pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Office Based Provider (includes HMOs), Hospital Stay, Emergency Room, and Outpatient internal event files development

April 2011

 

Transferring of pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Office Based Provider (includes HMOs), Hospital Stay, Emergency Room, and Outpatient internal event files and documentation

April 15 2011

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched Office Based Provider (includes HMOs), Hospital Stay, Emergency Room, and Outpatient MPC files and documentation

April 15 2011

 

Pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Separately Billing Doctors internal event file created

April 2011

 

Transferring of pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Separately Billing Doctors internal event file and documentation

April 15 2011

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched Separately Billing Doctors MPC file and documentation

April 15 2011

 

Post imputation, post editing, post matching, post imputation Prescribed Medicines event file development

June 2011

 

Transferring of post editing, post matching, post imputation Prescribed Medicines internal event file and documentation

June 30 2011

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched, non-imputed Prescribed Medicines MPC file and documentation

June 30 2011

 

Subcontracting Report for Individual Contracts via ESRS

October 30 annually and April 1 annually

 

Summary Subcontractor Report via ESRS

October 30 annually

 

Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Report

1 copy at completion

MEPS MPC Deliverables - Option Periods 1,2,3

Deliverable Number

Title

Date
Panel 15, 2010

Panel 16 2011

Panel 17 2012

 

Project Management Plan

May 2009

May 2010

May 2011

 

Management meeting agenda including reports that will be discussed/reviewed at meeting

5 Ds before meeting

5 Ds before meeting

5 Ds before meeting

 

Management meeting minutes

10 Ds after meeting

10 Ds after meeting

10 Ds after meeting

 

Documentation of key decisions

10 Ds after decision

10 Ds after decision

10 Ds after decision

 

Annual Methodology Report

February 2011

February 2012

February 2013

 

Pharmacy provider, medical provider, and separately billing doctors provider coding plan

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Plan for matching MPC to HC events

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Specifications for sample preparation—MEPS MPC

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Plan for prescribed drug editing and imputation

November 2009

November 2010

November 2011

 

MPC training plan

September 2009

September 2010

September 2011

 

Plan for receipting and cataloging medical provider permission forms from HC contractor

September 2009

September 2010

September 2011

 

Plan for establishing the frame for the MPC sample, including unduplication

September 2009

September 2010

September 2011

 

Plan for preparing MPC files for fielding and back-linkage

September 2009

September 2010

September 2011

 

Plan for maintaining the frame for the MPC during fielding, including procedures for splits and merges

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Plan for the identification of hospital physicians, preparing the files for fielding and back-linkage

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Plan for data collection of hospital physicians not included in the hospital bill (include necessary tables)

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Draft data collection instruments and respondent materials suitable for OMB clearance

8 Ms before use

8 Ms before use

8 Ms before use

 

Final respondent materials-(e.g., letters, brochures) for the MPC

November 2010

November 2011

November 2012

 

Final MPC data collection instruments

November 2010

November 2011

November 2012

 

Overall MPC data collection plan, including staffing plan, abstraction plan, quality control procedures, electronic communication and transmission arrangements, field cost and production reports (samples), response rate reports, and plan for multi-mode data collection (include all necessary tables)

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

MPC staffing, recruitment and retention plan (include management in plan)

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Report on MPC data collection evaluating the overall MPC data collection plan (post data collection)

January 2012

January 2013

January 2014

 

MPC data collection specialist-training materials including a schedule, verbatim scripts, trainer, supervisor and data collection specialist manuals, mock interviews and home study packages

2 Ms before use

2 Ms before use

2 Ms before use

 

MPC data collection specialist work processes plan which will include QC plan and procedural manual

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

MPC abstractor training materials including a schedule, verbatim scripts, trainer, supervisor and abstractor manuals, mock interviews and home study packages

2 Ms before use

2 Ms before use

2 Ms before use

 

MPC abstraction work processes plan which will include QC plan and procedural manual

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

MPC cost and progress data collection reports

Bi-weekly for data collection progress, and monthly for cost reports while in field

Bi-weekly for data collection progress, and monthly for cost reports while in field

Bi-weekly for data collection progress, and monthly for cost reports while in field

 

MPC response rate reports (pair and provider level)

Weekly while in field

Weekly while in field

Weekly while in field

 

MPC data collection completed field period official notification with completion date and QC and final results (all provider types except separately billing doctors)

November 30 2011

November 30 2012

November 30 2013

 

MPC data collection completed field period official notification with completion date and QC and final results—separately billing doctors only

March 30 2012

March 30 2013

March 30 2014

 

Data processing plan-MPC

July 2009

July 2010

July 2011

 

Final data security plan-MPC

April 2009

April 2010

April 2011

 

MPC data quality control plan-MPC

August 2009

August 2010

August 2011

 

Plan for forms control and receipt-MPC

1 M before field period

1 M before field period

1 M before field period

 

Plan for data entry-MPC

September 2009

September 2010

September 2011

 

MPC coder training materials including a schedule, trainer, supervisor and coder manuals, mock examples and home study packages

2 Ms before use

2 Ms before use

2 Ms before use

 

MPC coder work processes plan which will include QC plan and procedural manual

October 2009

October 2009

October 2009

 

Coding plan for drugs, conditions/diagnoses, medical procedures and supplies including training materials and quality control specifications—MPC

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Coding plan for sources of payment including training materials and quality control specifications-MPC

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

Separately billing doctors coding including training materials and quality control specifications

October 2009

October 2010

October 2011

 

The MPC files flattened to the event level, with provider characteristics and event type identification on each record for each

October 2011

October 2012

October 2013

 

Matching MPC to HC events

November 2011

November 2012

November 2013

 

Editing and Imputation of Prescribed Medicines Data

January 2012

January 2013

January 2014

 

Pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Home Health Care internal event file development

February 2012

February 2013

February 2014

 

Transferring of pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Home Health Care internal event file and documentation

February 15 2012

February 15 2013

February 15 2014

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched Home Health Care MPC file and documentation

February 15 2012

February 15 2013

February 15 2014

 

Pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Office Based Provider (includes HMOs), Hospital Stay, Emergency Room, and Outpatient internal event files development

March 2012

March 2013

March 2014

 

Transferring of pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Office Based Provider (includes HMOs), Hospital Stay (includes separately billing doctors), Emergency Room, and Outpatient internal event files and documentation

March 15 2012

March 15 2013

March 15 2014

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched Office Based Provider (includes HMOs), Hospital Stay, Emergency Room, and Outpatient files and documentation

March 15 2012

March 15 2013

March 15 2014

 

Pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Separately Billing Doctors internal event file development

March 2012

March 2013

March 2014

 

Transferring of pre-imputation, post cleaning, post matching Separately Billing Doctors internal event file and documentation

March 15 2012

March 15 2013

March 15 2014

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched MPC Separately Billing Doctors file and documentation

March 15 2012

March 15 2013

March 15 2014

 

Post imputation, post editing, post matching Prescribed Medicines internal event file development

May 2012

May 2013

May 2014

 

Transferring of post editing, post matching, post imputation Prescribed Medicines internal event file and documentation

May 31 2012

May 31 2013

May 31 2014

 

Transferring of raw unedited, unmatched, non-imputed MPC Prescribed Medicines file and documentation

May 31 2012

May 31 2013

May 31 2014

 

Subcontracting Report for Individual Contracts via ESRS

October 30 annually and April 30 annually

 

Summary Subcontractor Report via ESRS

October 30 (annually)

 

Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Report

1 copy at completion

SECTION G—CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION DATA

G.1 KEY PERSONNEL

Pursuant to the Key Personnel clause incorporated in Section I of this contract, the following individual(s) is/are considered to be essential to the work being performed hereunder:

NAME TITLE

(TO BE COMPLETED AT TIME OF CONTRACT AWARD)

The clause cited above contains a requirement for review and approval by the Contracting Officer of written requests for a change of Key Personnel reasonably in advance of diverting any of these individuals from this contract. Receipt of written requests at least 30 days prior to a proposed change is considered reasonable.

G.2 PROJECT OFFICER

The following Project Officer(s) will represent the Government for the purpose of this contract:

(TO BE COMPLETED AT TIME OF CONTRACT AWARD)

The Project Officer(s) is/are responsible for: (1) monitoring the contractor's technical progress, including the surveillance and assessment of performance and recommending to the contracting officer changes in requirements; (2) interpreting the statement of work and any other technical performance requirements; (3) performing technical evaluation as required; (4) performing technical inspections and acceptances required by this contract; and (5) assisting in the resolution of technical problems encountered during performance.

The Contracting Officer is the only person with authority to act as an agent of the Government under this contract.Only the Contracting Officer has authority to: (1) direct or negotiate any changes in the statement of work; (2) modify or extend the period of performance; (3) change the delivery schedule; (4) authorize reimbursement to the contractor of any costs incurred during the performance of this contract; or (5) otherwise change any terms and conditions of this contract.

The Government may unilaterally change its Project Officer designation.

G.3 INVOICE SUBMISSION

a. INVOICE SUBMISSION

Billing Instructions are attached and made part of this contract. Instructions and the following directions for the submission of invoices must be followed to meet the requirements of a "proper" payment request pursuant to FAR 32.9, and must be in accordance with the General Provisions clause 52.232-25 Prompt Payment (OCT 2003).

Invoices/financing requests shall be submitted in an original and three copies to:

Contracting Officer
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Division of Contracts Management
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850

G.4 INFORMATION ON VOUCHERS

   (1) The Contractor is required to include the following minimum information on vouchers:

      (a) Contractor's name and invoice date;

      (b) Contract Number;

      (c) Description and price of services actually rendered;

      (d) Other substantiating documentation or information as required by the contract;

      (e) Name (where practicable), title, phone number, and complete mailing address or responsible official to whom payment is to be sent; and

      (f) The Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Identification Number.

      (g) Contact person and contact information for questions on voucher

   (2) The Contractor shall furnish the following minimum information in support of costs submitted for cost-reimbursement task orders. Less information is required for firm fixed-price task order vouchers.

      (a) Direct Labor—include all persons, listing the person's name, title, number of hours or days worked, hourly rate (unburdened), the total cost per person and a total amount of this category.

      (b) Fringe Costs—show rate, base and total amount as well as verification/allowability or rate changes (when applicable);

      (c) Overhead or Indirect Costs—show rate, base and total amount as well as verification/allowability or rate changes (when applicable);

      (d) Consultants—include the name, number of days or hours worked, a total amount per consultant and a total amount for this category;

      (e) Travel—include for each airplane or train trip taken the name of the traveler, date of travel, destination, the transportation costs including ground transportation, shown separately, and per diem costs. Other travel costs shall also be listed. A total amount for this category shall be provided;

      (f) Subcontractors—include for each subcontractor, the same data that is being provided for the prime contractor. A total number for this category shall be provided.

      (g) Data Processing—include all non-labor costs, i.e., computer time, equipment purchase, lease or rental, data tapes, etc. A total amount for this category shall be provided.

      (h) Other—include a listing of all other direct charges to the contract, i.e., office supplies, telephone, equipment rental, duplication, etc.

      (i) Equipment Cost—itemize and identify separately from material costs including reference to approval in all cases;

      (j) G&A—show rate, base and total as well as verification/allowability of rate changes (when applicable);

      (k) Fee—show rate, base and total and;

      (l) Current amount billed by individual cost element and total dollar amount and cumulative amount billed by individual cost element and total dollar amount.

    (3) Payment shall be made by:

PSC Finance
Parklawn Building, Room 16-23
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
Telephone Number (301) 443-6766

G.5 INDIRECT COST RATES and FEE

In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (48 CFR Chapter 1) Clause 52.216-7(d)(2), Allowable Cost and Payment, incorporated by reference in this contract, in Part II, Section I, the primary contact point responsible for negotiating provisional and/or final indirect cost rates is the cognizant contracting official as set forth in FAR Subpart 42.7—Indirect Cost Rates.

Reimbursement will be limited to the rates and time periods covered by the negotiated agreements.The rates, if negotiated, are hereby incorporated without further action of the Contracting Officer.

G.6 ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER

Pursuant to FAR 52.232-33, Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer—Central Contractor Registration (OCT 2003), the Contractor shall designate a financial institution for receipt of electronic funds transfer payments. This designation shall be submitted, in writing, to the finance office designated in the contract.

SECTION H - SPECIAL CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS

H.1 PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS, EVALUATION AND AWARD FEE

The main goal of this procurement is to provide timely, quality data to AHRQ. The data files identified in sections 4.2 and 4.3 of the SOW are the key products of this activity.  It is the Government's experience that successful completion of this task requires quality work on all tasks in this contract.   The requirements and standards below are designed with the goal of promoting timely, quality end products.  Evaluation of the Contractor's performance is based on the Contractor's actual performance relative to the Contractor's proposed Management Plan.  Updates to the Management Plan which detail the Contractor's actual performance relative to the Management Plan contained in their proposal are due every 6 months from the effective date of the contract throughout life of the contract (Deliverable 3 for the Base Period and each of the option periods).

The Agency's decision to pay or not pay Award fee in no way alters the contractor's responsibility to perform any function or produce any deliverables required by this contract.

ANNUAL AMOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR AWARD FEE (to be evaluated and paid semi-annually):

Performance Requirements and Evaluation

Performance Requirements Performance Standards Surveillance Award Fee Available for Distribution
Timeliness and quality of field activities for the MPC

Contractor completion of key field activities for Sections 4.2 and 4.3 in SOW by dates in Management Plan. Overall response rates match those in SOW

The Contractor's performance (completion dates for key field activities and response rate targets) will be compared by the Award Fee Evaluation Group to those dates and targets specified in the Proposed Management and Quality Control Plans

Years 1 and 2, 50% of available award fee

Years 3 and beyond 25% of available award fee

Intermediate data process milestones met

Quality standards met

Contractor meets dates for key data processing milestones specified in Management Plan

The Contractor's performance (completion dates for key data processing milestones) will be compared by the Award Fee Evaluation Group to those dates and targets specified in the Proposed Management and Quality Control Plans

Years 1 and 2, 50% of available award fee

Years 3 and beyond 25% of available award fee

Data delivery schedule met

Quality standards met

Products identified in Sections 4.2 and 4.3 of the SOW delivered on time

Comparison of delivery schedule dates to actual receipt data and Quality Control error rates to standards

Years 3 and beyond 25% of available award fee

Twice annually, upon receipt of the updated Management Plan, the contract products will be evaluated for quality by an Award Fee Evaluation Group (AFEG).  The AFEG will consist of the Project Officer, the Contracting Officer and 3 other government officials specified by the Project Officer subject to the approval of the Contracting Officer.  The composition of the group may change from time to time.  Each member of the group will evaluate the quality of each requirement specified above using a numerical rating scale of 0 to 100.  The scale will be defined as follows.

Rating scale for award fee determination

Definition of rating Adjective rating Numerical Rating Award fee %

Superior-Contractor's performance exceeds standards (quality of product or timeliness of product) by a substantial margin, GPO and CO can cite few areas for improvement, all of which are minor

Superior

90-100

100%

Excellent-Contractor's performance exceeds standards (quality or timeliness), and although there may be several areas for improvement, these are more than offset by better performance in other areas

Excellent

80-89

80%

Satisfactory-Contractor's performance is standard and areas for improvement are approximately offset by better performance in other areas

Satisfactory

79-60

50%

Unacceptable-Contractor's performance is less than standard by a substantial margin and the GPO/CO cite many areas for improvement that are not offset by better performance in other areas. Less satisfactory performance would be unacceptable

Unacceptable

Below 60

0

Each member of the group will give the contractor's performance on each requirement a numerical rating and those ratings will be averaged.  An average of below 60 (Unacceptable) will result in no award fee.  An average between 60 and 79 (Satisfactory) will result in receipt of 50 percent of the available award fee.   An average of between 80 and 89 (Excellent) will result in receipt of 80 percent of the available award fee.  An average of between 90 and 100 (Superior) would result in receipt of 100 percent of the available award fee.  The Award determinations are not subject to the disputes clause.

H.2 SUBCONTRACTS

The contractor must include in any subcontracts executed or used to provide the support specified in this contract the terms of requirements H.2, H.5 and Section 2.3 of the Statement of Work, Data Development, Data Rights and Data. These requirements are to be included without substantive alteration, and no clause may be included to diminish these requirements.

Award of any subcontract is subject to the written approval of the Contracting Officer upon review of the supporting documentation as required by FAR Clause 52.244-2 Subcontracts, of the General Clauses incorporated into this contract. A copy of the signed subcontract shall be provided to the Contracting Officer.

H.3 LATE PAYMENTS TO THE GOVERNMENT

Late payment of debts owed the Government by the Contractor, arising from whatever cause, under this contract/order shall bear interest at a rate or rates to be established in accordance with the Treasury Fiscal Requirements Manual.For purposes of this provision, late payments are defined as payments received by the Government more than 30 days after the Contractor has been notified in writing by the Contracting Officer of:

   a. The basis of indebtedness.

   b. The amount due.

   c. The fact that interest will be applied if payment is not received within 30 days from the date of mailing of the notice.

   d. The approximate interest rate that will be charged.

H.4 PRIVACY ACT

The Privacy Act clauses cited in Section I (FAR 52.224-1 and 52.224-2) are applicable to the consultant records kept by the Contractor for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

You are hereby notified that the Contractor and its employees are subject to criminal penalties for violations of the Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(i)) to the same extent as employees of the Department. The Contractor shall assure that each Contractor employee is aware that he/she can be subjected to criminal penalties for violations of the Act. Disposition instructions: Records are to be destroyed after contract closeout is completed and final payment is made and in accordance with IRS regulations.

H.5 SALARY RATE LIMITATION LEGISLATION PROVISION

Pursuant to P.L. 110-161, no fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008) funds may be used to pay the direct salary of an individual through this contract at a rate in excess of the direct salary rate for Executive Level I of the Federal Executive Pay Scale. That rate is $191,300 per year for the period of January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008. Direct salary is exclusive of overhead, fringe benefits, and general and administrative expenses. The salary limit also applies to individuals proposed under subcontracts. If this is a multi-year contract, it may be subject to unilateral modifications by the Government if any salary rate ceilings are established in future DHHS appropriation acts. P.L 110-161 states in pertinent part:

None of the funds appropriated in this Act for the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and quality, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health services Administration shall be used to pay the salary of an individual, through a grant or other extramural mechanism, at a rate in excess of Executive Level I.

Contractors shall absorb that portion of an employee's salary (plus the dollar amount for fringe benefits and indirect costs associated with the excess) that exceeds the direct salary rate for Executive Level I of the Federal Executive

H.6 GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED MATERIALS

The following equipment will be provided to the Contractor after Contract award:

The Government shall set up and maintain a secure encrypted data transmission line so that confidential data and documents can be transmitted from the Contractor to AHRQ. The Government will provide hardware to the contractor for the encrypted line.

H.7 PRO-CHILDREN ACT of 1994

The Pro-Children Act of 1994, P.L. 103-227, imposes restrictions on smoking where certain federally funded children's services are provided. P.L. 103-227 states in pertinent part:

"PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and to promote the non-use of all tobacco products.In addition, P.L. 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early childhood development services are provided to children."

H.8 HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPAA)

Contractors eligible for this contract more than likely routinely collect sensitive data. Although the data collected under this contract are not covered under HIPAA (AHRQ is not a covered entity because it is not a: health plan; health care clearinghouse; or a health care provider that electronically transmits health information), many providers of the data will want to be assured HIPAA like standards are being followed. Contractors are expected to provide the security and confidentiality of data, databases, project files, and any individually identified information associated with the project using procedures that would address these concerns.

PART II—CONTRACT CLAUSES (9/07 DCM)

(FAC 2005- 20)

SECTION I

CONTRACT CLAUSES

GENERAL CLAUSES FOR A COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE CONTRACT

CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (FEBRUARY 1998)

This contract incorporates the following clauses by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text. Upon request, the Contracting Officer will make their full text available. Also, the full text of a clause may be accessed electronically at this address: http://www.arnet.gov/far/

I. FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATI ON (FAR) (48 CFR CHAPTER 1)

CLAUSES

FAR Clause No. Title and Date

52.203-3Gratuities (APR 1984)

52.203-5 Covenant Against Contingent Fee (APR 1984)

52.203-6 Restrictions on Subcontractor Sales to the Government

(SEPT 2006)

52.203-7 Anti-Kickback Procedures (JUL 1995)

52.203-8 Cancellation, Rescission, and Recovery of Funds for Illegal

or Improper Activity (JAN 1997)

52.203-10 Price or Fee Adjustment for Illegal or Improper Activity (JAN 1997)

52.203-12 Limitation on Payments to Influence Certain Federal Transactions (SEP 2007

52.204-4 Printing or Copying Double-Sided on Recycled Paper (AUG 2000)

52.204-7 Central Contractor Registration. (JULY 2006)

52.209-6 Protecting the Government's Interest When Subcontracting With Contractors Debarred, Suspended, or Proposed for Debarment (SEPT 2006)

52.215-2 Audit and Records—Negotiation (JUN 1999)

52.215-8 Order of Precedence-Uniform Contract Format (Oct 1997)

52.215-10 Price Reduction for Defective Cost or Pricing Data (OCT 1997)

(applicable to contract actions over $550,000)

52.215-12 Subcontractor Cost or Pricing Data (OCT 1997)

(applicable to contract actions over $550,000)

52.215-15 Pension Adjustments and Asset Reversions (OCT 2004)

52.215-18 Reversion or Adjustment of Plans for Postretirement Benefits (PRB) Other Than Pensions (JUL 2005)

52.215-19 Notification of Ownership Changes (OCT 1997)

52.216-7 Allowable Cost and Payment (DEC 2002)

52.216-8 Fixed Fee (MAR 1997)

52.217-8 Option to Extend Services (NOV 1999)

52.219-8 Utilization of Small Business Concerns (MAY 2004

52.219-9 Small Business Subcontracting Plan (SEP 2007) (Applicable to Contracts over $550,000)

52.222-2 Payment for Overtime Premiums (JUL 1990). The amount in

paragraph (a) is "zero" unless different amount is separately

stated elsewhere in contract.

52.222-3 Convict Labor (JUNE 2003)

52.222-26 Equal Opportunity (APR 2002)

52.222-35 Equal Opportunity for Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other Eligible Veterans. (SEPT 2006)

52.222-36 Affirmative Action for Workers With Disabilities (JUNE 1998)

52.222-37 Employment Reports on Special Disabled Veterans, Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and Other Eligible Veterans. (SEPT 2006)

52.222-39 Notification of Employee Rights Concerning Payment of Union Dues or Fees (DEC 2004)

52.223-6 Drug Free Workplace (MAY 2001)

52.223-14 Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (AUG 2003)

52.224-1 Privacy Act Notification (APR 1984)

52.224-2 Privacy Act (APR 1984)

52.225-1 Buy American Act—Supplies(JUNE 2003)

52.225-13 Restrictions on Certain Foreign Purchases (FEB 2006)

52.227-1 Authorization and Consent(JULY 1995)

52.227-2 Notice and Assistance Regarding Patent and Copy-

Right Infringement (AUG 1996)

52.227-3 Patent Indemnity (APRIL 1984)

52.227-17 Rights in Data-Special Works (JUNE 1987)

52.228-7 Insurance-Liability to Third Persons (MAR 1996)

52.230-2 Cost Accounting Standards (APR 1998)

52.230-3 Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices (APR 1998)

52.232-9 Limitation on Withholding of Payments (APRIL 1984)

52.232-17 Interest (JUNE 1996)

52.232-20 Limitation of Cost (APR 1984)

52.232-23 Assignment of Claims (JAN 1986)

52.232-25 Prompt Payment (OCT 2003)

52.232-33 Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer Center Contractor Registration (OCT 2003)

52.233-1 Disputes (JULY 2002)

52.233-3 Protest After Award (AUG 1996)Alternate I (JUNE 1985)

52.233-4 Applicable Law for Breach of Contract Claim (OCT 2004)

52.237-10 Identification of Uncompensated Overtime (Oct 1997)

52.242-1 Notice of Intent to Disallow Costs (APRIL 1984)

52.242-3 Penalties for Unallowable Costs (MAY 2001)

52.242-4 Certification of Final Indirect Costs (Jan 1997)

52.242-13 Bankruptcy (JULY 1995)

52.243-2 Changes—Cost Reimbursement (AUG 1987)—Alternate II

(APRIL 1984)

52.244-2 Subcontracts (AUGUST 1998)

52.244-5 Competition in Subcontracting (DEC 1996)

52.245-5 Government Property (Cost Reimbursement, Time-and-

Material, or Labor-Hour Contract (MAY 2004)

52.246-5 Inspection of Services-Cost Reimbursement (APRIL 1984)

52.246-23 Limitation of Liability-(FEB 1997)

52.248-1 Value Engineering (FEB 2000)

52.249-6 Termination (Cost-Reimbursement) (MAY 2004)

52.249-14 Excusable Delays (APRIL 1984)

52.251-1 Government Supply Sources (APRIL 1984)

52.253-1 Computer Generated Forms (JAN 1991)

II. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ACQUISITION

    REGULATION (HHSAR) (48 CFR CHAPTER 3) CLAUSES

HHSAR

Clause No. Title and Date

352.202-1 Definitions (JAN 2006)

Alternate h

352.228-7 Insurance—Liability to Third Persons (DEC 2006)

352.232-9 Withholding of Contract Payments (JAN 2006)

352.233-70 Litigation and Claims (JAN 2006)

352.242-71 Final Decisions on Audit Findings (APRIL 1984)

352.270-5 Key Personnel (JAN 2006)

352.270-6 Publication and Publicity (JAN 2006)

352.270-7 Paperwork Reduction Act (JAN 2006)

OPTION TO EXTEND THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT (MAR 2000) 52.217-9  

   (a) The Government may extend the term of this contract by written notice to the Contractor within 30 days of the expiration date of the contract; provided that the Government gives the Contractor a preliminary written notice of its intent to extend at least 60 days before the contract expires. The preliminary notice does not commit the Government to an extension.

   (b) If the Government exercises this option, the extended contract shall be considered to include this option clause.

   (c) The total duration of this contract, including the exercise of any options under this clause, shall not exceed 60 months.

(End of clause)

KEY PERSONNEL (JAN 2006) (HHSAR 352.270-5)

The key personnel specified in this contract are considered to be essential to work performance. At least 30 days prior to diverting any of the specified individuals to other programs or contracts (or as soon as possible, if an individual must be replaced, for example, as a result of leaving the employ of the Contractor), the Contractor shall notify the Contracting Officer and shall submit comprehensive justification for the diversion or replacement request (including proposed substitutions for key personnel) to permit evaluation by the Government of the impact on performance under this contract. The Contractor shall not divert or otherwise replace any key personnel without the written consent of the Contracting Officer. The Government may modify the contract to add or delete key personnel at the request of the Contractor or Government.

(End of clause)

PART III- LIST OF DOCUMENTS, EXHIBITS AND ATTACHMENTS

SECTION J—LIST OF ATTACHMENTS

Attachment Pages

1. Past Performance Questionnaire and Contractor Performance Form 5 pgs

2. Proposal Intent Response Sheet 1 pg

3. Breakdown of Proposed Estimated Cost and Labor Hours 2 pgs

4. Appendix 3-F Web Site Deployment checklist, available at the following Web site: http://intranet.ahrq.gov/ohci/pub-com%20guidelines/Appendixes/Guidebook%20Appendix%203-F%20Web%20Site%20Deployment%20Checklist.doc

NOTE: ALL ATTACHMENTS ARE LOCATED AT THE END OF THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL.

PART IV. REPRESENTATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS

SECTION K

REPRESENTATIONS, CERTIFICATIONS AND OTHER STATEMENTS OF OFFERORS

K.1 HHSAR 315.204-5 Representations and Instructions

K.2. FAR 52.204-8 Annual Representations and Certifications (JAN 2006)

K.3. FAR 52.222-21 Prohibition of Segregated Facilities (FEB 1999)

K.4. FAR 52.230-1 Cost Accounting Standards Notices and Certification (JUNE 2000)

K.5. FAR 15.406-2 Certificate of Current Cost and Pricing Data

K.6. P.L. 103-227 Certification Regarding Environmental Tobacco Smoke

K.l REPRESENTATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS

   (a) Section K, Representations, certifications, and other statements of offerors.

      (1) This section shall begin with the following and continue with the applicable representations and certifications:

TO BE COMPLETED BY THE OFFEROR: (The Representations and Certifications must be executed by an individual authorized to bind the Offeror.) The Offeror makes the following Representations and Certifications as part of its proposal. (Check or complete all appropriate boxes or blanks on the following pages.)

(Name of Offeror) (RFP No.)

(Signature of Authorized Individual) (Date)

(Typed Name of Authorized Individual)

NOTE: The penalty for making false statements in offers is prescribed in 18 U.S.C. 1001.

K.2. ANNUAL REPRESENTATIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS (JAN 2006) (FAR 52.204-8)

   (a)(1) The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for this acquisition is ____541990____[insert NAICS code].

      (2) The small business size standard is _$6.5 million_ [insert size standard].

      (3) The small business size standard for a concern which submits an offer in its own name, other than on a construction or service contract, but which proposes to furnish a product which it did not itself manufacture, is 500 employees.

   (b)(1) If the clause at 52.204-7, Central Contractor Registration, is included in this solicitation, paragraph (c) of this provision applies.

      (2) If the clause at 52.204-7 is not included in this solicitation, and the offeror is currently registered in CCR, and has completed the ORCA electronically, the offeror may choose to use paragraph (c) of this provision instead of completing the corresponding individual representations and certifications in the solicitation. The offeror shall indicate which option applies by checking one of the following boxes:

         [  ] (i) Paragraph (c) applies.

         [  ] (ii) Paragraph (c) does not apply and the offeror has completed the individual representations and certifications in the solicitation.

   (c) The offeror has completed the annual representations and certifications electronically via the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) Web site at http://orca.bpn.gov. After reviewing the ORCA database information, the offeror verifies by submission of the offer that the representations and certifications currently posted electronically have been entered or updated within the last 12 months, are current, accurate, complete, and applicable to this solicitation (including the business size standard applicable to the NAICS code referenced for this solicitation), as of the date of this offer and are incorporated in this offer by reference (see FAR 4.1201); except for the changes identified below [offeror to insert changes, identifying change by clause number, title, date]. These amended representation(s) and/or certification(s) are also incorporated in this offer and are current, accurate, and complete as of the date of this offer.

FAR Clause # Title Date Change
      ____________         _________        _____       _______

Any changes provided by the offeror are applicable to this solicitation only, and do not result in an update to the representations and certifications posted on ORCA.

(End of provision)

K.3. PROHIBITION OF SEGREGATED FACILITIES (FEB 1999) (FAR 52.222-21)

   (a) "Segregated facilities," as used in this clause, means any waiting rooms, work areas, rest rooms and wash rooms, restaurants and other eating areas, time clocks, locker rooms and other storage or dressing areas, parking lots, drinking fountains, recreation or entertainment areas, transportation, and housing facilities provided for employees, that are segregated by explicit directive or are in fact segregated on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin because of written or oral policies or employee custom. The term does not include separate or single-user rest rooms or necessary dressing or sleeping areas provided to assure privacy between the sexes.

   (b) The Contractor agrees that it does not and will not maintain or provide for its employees any segregated facilities at any of its establishments, and that it does not and will not permit its employees to perform their services at any location under its control where segregated facilities are maintained. The Contractor agrees that a breach of this clause is a violation of the Equal Opportunity clause in this contract.

   (c) The Contractor shall include this clause in every subcontract and purchase order that is subject to the Equal Opportunity clause of this contract.

(End of Clause)

K.4.COST ACCOUNTING STANDARDS NOTICES AND CERTIFICATION (FAR 52.230-1) (JUNE 2000)

NOTE: This notice does not apply to small businesses or foreign governments. This notice is in three parts, identified by Roman numerals I through III.

Offerors shall examine each part and provide the requested information in order to determine Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) requirements applicable to any resultant contract.

If the offeror is an educational institution, Part II does not apply unless the contemplated contract will be subject to full or modified CAS-coverage pursuant to 48CFR 9903.201-2(c)(5) or 9903.201-2(c)(6),respectively.

I. Disclosure Statement—Cost Accounting Practices and Certification

   (a) Any contract in excess of $500,000 resulting from this solicitation, will be subject to the requirements of the Cost Accounting Standards Board (48 CFR, Chapter 99), except for those contracts which are exempt as specified in 48 CFR 9903.201-1.

   (b)Any offeror submitting a proposal which, if accepted, will result in a contract subject to the requirements of 48 CFR Chapter 99 must, as a condition of contracting, submit a Disclosure Statement as required by 48 CFR 9903.202. When required, the Disclosure Statement must be submitted as a part of the offeror's proposal under this solicitation unless the offeror has already submitted a Disclosure Statement disclosing the practices used in connection with the pricing of this proposal. If an applicable Disclosure Statement has already been submitted, the offeror may satisfy the requirement for submission by providing the information requested in paragraph (c) of Part I of this provision. Caution: In the absence of specific regulations or agreement, a practice disclosed in a Disclosure Statement shall not, by virtue of such disclosure, be deemed to be a proper, approved, or agreed-to practice for pricing proposals or accumulating and reporting contract performance cost data.

   (c) Check the appropriate box below:

      [ ] (1) Certificate of Concurrent Submission of Disclosure Statement.

The offeror hereby certifies that, as a part of the offer, copies of the Disclosure Statement have been submitted as follows: (i) original and one copy to the cognizant Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) or cognizant Federal agency official authorized to act in that capacity, as applicable, and (ii) one copy to the cognizant Federal auditor.

(Disclosure must be on Form No. CASB DS-1 or CASB DS-2, as applicable. Forms may be obtained from the cognizant ACO or Federal official and/or from the loose-leaf version of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.)

Date of Disclosure Statement:__________________________

Name and Address of Cognizant

ACO or Federal official where filed:

The offeror further certifies that practices used in estimating costs in pricing this proposal are consistent with the cost accounting practices disclosed in the Disclosure Statement.

      [ ] (2) Certificate of Previously Submitted Disclosure Statement.

The offeror hereby certifies that the required Disclosure Statement was filed as follows:

Date of Disclosure Statement:__________________________

Name and Address of Cognizant

ACO or Federal official where filed:

The offeror further certifies that the practices used in estimating costs in pricing this proposal are consistent with the cost accounting practices disclosed in the applicable Disclosure Statement.

      [ ] (3) Certificate of Monetary Exemption.

The offeror hereby certifies that the offeror together with all divisions, subsidiaries, and affiliates under common control, did not receive net awards of negotiated prime contracts and subcontracts subject to CAS totaling more than $25 million in the cost accounting period immediately preceding the period in which this proposal was submitted. The offeror further certifies that if such status changes before an award resulting from this proposal, the offeror will advise the Contracting Officer immediately.

      [ ] (4) Certificate of Interim Exemption.

The offeror hereby certifies that (i) the offeror first exceeded the monetary exemption for disclosure, as defined in (3) of this subsection, in the cost accounting period immediately preceding the period in which this offer was submitted and (ii) in accordance with 48 CFR, Subpart 9903.202-1, the offeror is not yet required to submit a Disclosure Statement. The offeror further certifies that if an award resulting from this proposal has not been made within 90 days after the end of that period, the offeror will immediately submit a review certificate to the Contracting Officer, in the form specified under subparagraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of Part I of this provision, as appropriate, to verify submission of a completed Disclosure Statement.

Caution:Offerors currently required to disclose because they were awarded a CAS-covered prime contract or subcontract of $25 million or more in the current cost accounting period may not claim this exemption (4).Further, the exemption applies only in connection with proposals submitted before expiration of the 90-day period following the cost accounting period in which the monetary exemption was exceeded.

II. Cost Accounting Standards - Eligibility for Modified Contract Coverage

If the offeror is eligible to use the modified provisions of 48 CFR, Subpart 9903.201-2(b) and elects to do so, the offeror shall indicate by checking the box below. Checking the box below shall mean that the resultant contract is subject to the Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices clause in lieu of the Cost Accounting Standards clause.

      [ ] The offeror hereby claims an exemption from the Cost Accounting Standards clause under the provisions of 48 CFR, Subpart 9903.201-2(b) and certifies that the offeror is eligible for use of the Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices clause because during the cost accounting period immediately preceding the period in which this proposal was submitted, the offeror received less than $25 million in awards of CAS-covered prime contracts and subcontracts or the offeror did not receive a single CAS-covered award exceeding $1 million. The offeror further certifies that if such status changes before an award resulting from this proposal, the offeror will advise the Contracting Officer immediately.

Caution: An offeror may not claim the above eligibility for modified contract coverage if this proposal is expected to result in the award of a CAS-covered contract of $25 million or more or if, during its current cost accounting period, the offeror has been awarded a single CAS-covered prime contract or subcontract of $25 million or more.

III. Additional Cost Accounting Standards Applicable to Existing Contracts

The offeror shall indicate below whether award of the contemplated contract would, in accordance with subparagraph (a)(3) of the Cost Accounting Standards clause, require a change in established cost accounting practices affecting existing contracts and subcontracts.

   [ ] Yes [ ] No

(End of Provision)

ALTERNATE I (APR 1996)

      [ ] (5) Certificate of Disclosure Statement Due Date by Educational Institution.

If the offeror is an educational institution that, under the transition provisions of 48 CFR 9903.202-1(f), is or will be required to submit a Disclosure Statement after receipt of this award, the offeror hereby certifies that (check one and complete):

      [ ] (a) A Disclosure Statement filing Due Date of has been established with the cognizant Federal agency.

      [ ] (b) The Disclosure Statement will be submitted within the six month period ending months after receipt of this award.

Name and Address of cognizant ACO or Federal Official where Disclosure Statement is to be filed:

(END OF ALTERNATE I)

K.5.CERTIFICATE OF CURRENT COST OR PRICING DATA (FAR 15.406-2)

CERTIFICATE OF CURRENT COST OR PRICING DATA

When cost or pricing data are required, the contracting officer shall require the contractor to execute a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data using the format in this paragraph, and shall include the executed certificate in the contract file.

This is to certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the cost or pricing data (as defined in Section 15.401 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation(FAR) and required under FAR subsection 15.403-4) submitted, either actually or by specific identification, in writing, to the contracting officer or the contracting officer's representative in support of * are accurate, complete, and current as of **.

This certification includes the cost or pricing data supporting any advance agreements and forward pricing rate agreements between the offeror and the Government that are part of the proposal.

FIRM

NAME Signature

TITLE

DATE OF EXECUTION***

* Identify the proposal, request for price adjustment, or other submission involved, giving the appropriate identifying number (e.g., Request for Proposal number).

** Insert the day, month, and year when price negotiations were concluded and price agreement was reached or, if applicable, an earlier date agreed upon between the parties that is as close as practicable to the date of agreement on price.

*** Insert the day, month, and year of signing, which should be as close as practicable to the date when the price negotiations were concluded and the contract price agreed to.

End of Certificate

K.6. ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE

The Public Health Service strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and to promote the nonuse of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early childhood development services are provided to children.

CERTIFICATION REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE

Public Law 103-227, also known as the Pro-Children Act of 1994 (Act), requires that smoking not be permitted in any portion of any indoor facility owned or leased or contracted for by an entity and used routinely or regularly for the provision of health, day care, early childhood development services, education or library services to children under the age of 18, if the services are funded by Federal programs either directly or through State or local governments, by Federal grant, contract, loan, or loan guarantee.The law also applies to children's services that are provided in indoor facilities that are constructed, operated, or maintained with such federal funds. The law does not apply to children's services provided in private residences; portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment; service providers whose sole source of applicable Federal funds is Medicare or Medicaid; or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed. Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1000 for each violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.

By signing this certification, the offeror/contractor certifies that the submitted organization will comply with the requirements of the Act and will not allow smoking within any portion of any indoor facility used for the provision of services for children as defined by the Act.

The submitting organization agrees that it will require that the language of this certification be included in any subawards which contain provisions for children's services and that all subrecipients shall certify accordingly.

Organization:________________________________________________

Signature_________________________ Title_____________________

Date________________________________

SECTION L—INSTRUCTIONS, CONDITIONS AND NOTICES TO OFFERORS

L.1 SOLICITATION PROVISIONS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE (FEB 1998) (FAR 52.252-1)

This solicitation incorporates the following solicitation provisions by reference, with the same force and effect as if they were given in full text. Upon request, the contracting officer will make the full text available.Also, the full text of a clause may be assessed electronically at this address: http://www.arnet.gov/far/

   a. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (48 CFR Chapter 1) Solicitation Provisions

      (1) 52.215-16 Facilities Capital Cost of Money (OCT 1997)

      (2) 52.215-20 Requirements for Cost or Pricing Data or Information Other Than Cost or Pricing Data (OCT 1997)

      (3) 52.216-27 Single or Multiple Awards (OCT 1995)

L.2 DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING (DUNS) (OCT 2003) (FAR 52.204-6)

   (a) The offeror shall enter, in the block with its name and address on the cover page of its offer, the annotation "DUNS" or "DUNS+4" followed by the DUNS number or "DUNS+4" that identifies the offeror's name and address exactly as stated in the offer.The DUNS number is a nine-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet Information Services. The DUNS+4 is the DUNS number plus a 4-character suffix that may be assigned at the discretion of the offeror to establish additional CCR records for identifying alternative Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) accounts (see Subpart 32.11) for the same parent concern.

   (b) If the offeror does not have a DUNS number, it should contact Dun and Bradstreet directly to obtain one.

      (1) An offeror may obtain a DUNS number—

         (i) If located within the United States , by calling Dun and Bradstreet at 1-866-705-5711 or via the Internet at http://www.dnb.com; or

         (ii) If located outside the United States , by contacting the local Dun and Bradstreet office.

       (2)The offeror should be prepared to provide the following information:

         (i) Company legal business name.

         (ii) Trade style, doing business, or other name by which your entity is commonly recognized.

         (iii) Company physical street address, city, state and Zip Code.

         (iv) Company mailing address, city, state and Zip Code (if separate from physical).

         (v) Company telephone number.

         (vi) Date the company was started.

         (vii) Number of employees at your location.

         (viii) Chief executive officer/ key manager.

         (ix) Line of business (industry)

         (x) Company Headquarters name and address (reporting relationship within your entity).

(End of provision)

L.3 INSTRUCTIONS TO OFFERORS - COMPETITIVE ACQUISITION (MAY 2001)

ALTERNATE I (JAN 2004)(FAR 52.215-1)

   (a) Definitions.As used in this provision -

"Discussions" are negotiations that occur after establishment of the competitive range that may, at the Contracting Officer's discretion, result in the offeror being allowed to revise its proposal.

"In writing," "writing," or "written" means any worded or numbered expression that can be read, reproduced, and later communicated, and includes electronically transmitted and stored information.

"Proposal modification" is a change made to a proposal before the solicitation's closing date and time, or made in response to an amendment, or made to correct a mistake at any time before award.

"Proposal revision" is a change to a proposal made after the solicitation closing date, at the request of or as allowed by a Contracting Officer as the result of negotiations.

"Time," if stated as a number of days, is calculated using calendar days, unless otherwise specified, and will include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. However, if the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the period shall include the next working day.

    (b) Amendments to solicitations.If this solicitation is amended, all terms and conditions that are not amended remain unchanged. Offerors shall acknowledge receipt of any amendment to this solicitation by the date and time specified in the amendment(s).

   (c) Submission, modification, revision, and withdrawal of proposals.

      (1) Unless other methods (e.g., electronic commerce or facsimile) are permitted in the solicitation, proposals and modifications to proposals shall be submitted in paper media in sealed envelopes or packages (i) addressed to the office specified in the solicitation, and (ii) showing the time and date specified for receipt, the solicitation number, and the name and address of the offeror. Offerors using commercial carriers should ensure that the proposal is marked on the outermost wrapper with the information in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(1)(ii) of this provision.

      (2) The first page of the proposal must show—

        (i) The solicitation number;

         (ii) The name, address, and telephone and facsimile numbers of the offeror (and electronic address if available);

        (iii) A statement specifying the extent of agreement with all terms, conditions, and provisions included in the solicitation and agreement to furnish any or all items upon which prices are offered at the price set opposite each item;

        (iv) Names, titles, and telephone and facsimile numbers (and electronic addresses if available) of persons authorized to negotiate on the offeror's behalf with the Government in connection with this solicitation; and

        (v) Name, title, and signature of person authorized to sign the proposal. Proposals signed by an agent shall be accompanied by evidence of that agent's authority, unless that evidence has been previously furnished to the issuing office.

      (3) Submissions, modification, revision, and withdrawal of proposals.

        (i) Offerors are responsible for submitting proposals, and any modification or revisions, so as to reach the Government office designated in the solicitation by the time specified in the solicitation. If no time is specified in the solicitation, the time for receipt is 4:30 p.m., local time, for the designated Government office on the date that proposal or revision is due.

        (ii) (A) Any proposal, modification, or revision received at the Government office designated in the solicitation after the exact time specified for receipt of offers is "late" and will not be considered unless it is received before award is made, the Contracting Officer determines that accepting the late offer would not unduly delay the acquisition; and -

           (1) If it was transmitted through an electronic commerce method authorized by the solicitation, it was received at the initial point of entry to the Government infrastructure not later than 5:00 p.m. one working day prior to the date specified for receipt of proposals; or

           (2) There is acceptable evidence to establish that it was received at the Government installation designated for receipt of offers and was under the Government's control prior to the time set for receipt of offers; or

           (3) It is the only proposal received.

              (B) However, a late modification of an otherwise successful proposal that makes its terms more favorable to the Government, will be considered at any time it is received and may be accepted.

        (iii) Acceptable evidence to establish the time of receipt at the Government installation includes the time/date stamp of that installation on the proposal wrapper, other documentary evidence of receipt maintained by the installation, or oral testimony or statements of Government personnel.

        (iv) If an emergency or unanticipated event interrupts normal Government processes so that proposals cannot be received at the office designated for receipt of proposals by the exact time specified in the solicitation, and urgent Government requirements preclude amendment of the solicitation, the time specified for receipt of proposals will be deemed to be extended to the same time of day specified in the solicitation on the first work day on which normal Government processes resume.

        (v) Proposals may be withdrawn by written notice received at any time before award. Oral proposals in response to oral solicitations may be withdrawn orally. If the solicitation authorizes facsimile proposals, proposals may be withdrawn via facsimile received at any time before award, subject to the conditions specified in the provision at 52.215-5, "Facsimile Proposals." Proposals may be withdrawn in person by an offeror or an authorized representative, if the representative's identity is made known and the representative signs a receipt for the proposal before award.

      (4) Unless otherwise specified in the solicitation, the offeror may propose to provide any item or combination of items.

      (5) Offerors shall submit proposals submitted in response to this solicitation in English, unless otherwise permitted by the solicitation, and in U.S. dollars, unless the provision at FAR 52.225-17, Evaluation of Foreign Currency Offers, is included in the solicitation.

      (6) Offerors may submit modifications to their proposals at any time before the solicitation closing date and time, and may submit modifications in response to an amendment, or to correct a mistake at any time before award.

      (7) Offers may submit revised proposals only if requested or allowed by the Contracting Officer.

      (8) Proposals may be withdrawn at any time before award. Withdrawals are effective upon receipt of notice by the Contracting Officer.

   (d) Offer expiration date. Proposals in response to this solicitation will be valid for the number of days specified on the solicitation cover sheet (unless a different period is proposed by the offeror).

   (e) Restriction on disclosure and use of data. Offerors that include in their proposals data that they do not want disclosed to the public for any purpose, or used by the Government except for evaluation purposes, shall —

      (1) Mark the title page with the following legend:

This proposal includes data that shall not be disclosed outside the Government and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed-in whole or in part-for any purpose other than to evaluate this proposal. If, however, a contract is awarded to this offeror as a result of-or in connection with- the submission of this data, the Government shall have the right to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent provided in the resulting contract. This restriction does not limit the Government's right to use information contained in this data if it is obtained from another source without restriction.The data subject to this restriction are contained in sheets [insert numbers or other identification of sheets]; and

      (2) Mark each sheet of data it wishes to restrict with the following legend:

Use or disclosure of data contained on this sheet is subject to the restriction on the title page of this proposal.

   (f) Contract award.

      (1) The Government intends to award a contract or contracts resulting from this solicitation to the responsible offeror(s) whose proposal(s) represents the best value after evaluation in accordance with the factors and subfactors in the solicitation.

      (2) The Government may reject any or all proposals if such action is in the Government's interest.

      (3) The Government may waive informalities and minor irregularities in proposals received.

      (4) The Government intends to evaluate proposals and award a contract after conducting discussions with offerors whose proposals have been determined to be within the competitive range. If the Contracting Officer determines that the number of proposals that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the Contracting Officer may limit the number of proposals in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated proposals. Therefore, the offeror's initial proposal should contain the offeror's best terms from a price and technical standpoint.

      (5) The Government reserves the right to make an award on any item for a quantity less than the quantity offered, at the unit cost or prices offered, unless the offeror specifies otherwise in the proposal.

      (6) The Government reserves the right to make multiple awards if, after considering the additional administrative costs, it is in the Government's best interest to do so.

      (7) Exchanges with offerors after receipt of a proposal do not constitute a rejection or counteroffer by the Government.

      (8) The Government may determine that a proposal is unacceptable if the prices proposed are materially unbalanced between line items or subline items. Unbalanced pricing exists when, despite an acceptable total evaluated price, the price of one or more contract line items is significantly overstated or understated as indicated by the application of cost or price analysis techniques. A proposal may be rejected if the Contracting Officer determines that the lack of balance poses an unacceptable risk to the Government.

      (9) If a cost realism analysis is performed, cost realism may be considered by the source selection authority in evaluating performance or schedule risk.

      (10) A written award or acceptance of proposal mailed or otherwise furnished to the successful offeror within the time specified in the proposal shall result in a binding contract without further action by either party.

      (11) If a post-award debriefing is given to requesting offerors, the Government shall disclose the following information, if applicable:

        (i) The agency's evaluation of the significant weak or deficient factors in the debriefed offeror's offer.

        (ii) The overall evaluated cost or price and technical rating of the successful and the debriefed offeror and past performance information on the debriefed offeror.

        (iii) The overall ranking of all offerors, when any ranking was developed by the agency during source selection

        (iv) A summary of the rationale for award

        (v) For acquisitions of commercial items, the make and model of the item to be delivered by the successful offeror.

        (vi) Reasonable responses to relevant questions posed by the debriefed offerors as to whether source-selection procedures set forth in the solicitation, applicable regulations, and other applicable authorities were followed by the agency.

(End of provision)

L.4 TYPE OF CONTRACT (APRIL 1984)(FAR 52.216-1)

The Government contemplates award of a cost reimbursement plus award fee, performance based service contract resulting from this solicitation. Award is estimated to be made by April 2008.

L.5 SERVICE OF PROTEST (SEP 2006)(FAR 52.233-2)

   (a) Protests, as defined in Section 33.101 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, that are filed directly with an agency, and copies of any protests that are filed with the General Accounting Office (GAO) shall be served on the Contracting Officer (addressed as follows) by obtaining written and dated acknowledgment of receipt from:

Director, Division of Contracts Management
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850

   (b) The copy of any protest shall be received in the office designated above within one day of filing a protest with the GAO.

L.6 POINT OF CONTACT FOR TECHNICAL INQUIRIES

The technical contact for additional information and answering inquiries is the Contracting Officer.All questions regarding this solicitation shall be E-mailed to Mary Haines at mary.haines@ahrq.hhs.gov no later than January 31, 2008. Answers to questions shall be posted as an Amendment to the RFP at Federal Business Opportunities at www.fedbizopps.gov.It is the responsibility of each offeror to periodically check this Web site for amendments or changes to this solicitation.

L.7 GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Introduction

The following instructions will establish the acceptable minimum requirements for the format and contents of proposals. Special attention is directed to the requirements for technical and business proposals to be submitted in accordance with these instructions:

    a. Contract Type and General Provisions: It is contemplated that one contract will be awarded.This will be a performance based service contract. It will be cost reimbursement with a small base fee and an award fee. The performance of the contractor will be evaluated on an annual basis to determine the amount of award fee to be paid. In addition to the special provisions of this request for proposal (RFP), any resultant contract shall include the general clauses applicable to the selected offeror's organization and type of contract awarded. Any additional clauses required by Public Law, Executive Order, or procurement regulations, in effect at the time of execution of the proposed contract, will be included.

    b. Authorized Official and Submission of Proposal: The proposal shall be signed by an official authorized to bind your (the offeror's) organization. Your proposal shall be submitted in the number of copies, to the address, and marked as indicated in the cover letter of this solicitation. Proposals will be typewritten, reproduced on letter sized paper and will be legible in all required copies. To expedite the proposal evaluation, all documents required for responding to the RFP should be placed in the following order:

I. TECHNICAL PROPOSAL: See Technical Proposal Instructions for recommended format (L.9). Please mark as original or copy.

II. PAST PERFORMANCE INFORMATION: See Past Performance Information Instructions for format (L.10)

III. BUSINESS PROPOSAL: See Business Proposal Instructions for recommended format (L.11). A Small Business Subcontracting Plan shall be completed and included in the Business Proposal volume.

IV. SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS PARTICIPATION PLAN: See Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan Instructions for additional information (L.12).

V. SMALL BUSINESS SUBCONTRACTING PLAN: See Small Business Subcontracting Plan Instructions for additional information (L.13).The Small Business Subcontracting Plan shall be included in the Business Proposal volume.

   c. Separation of Technical, Past Performance Information, Business Proposal (including Small Business Subcontracting Plan) and Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan:

The proposal shall be in four (4) parts: (1) Technical Proposal; (2) Past Performance Information; (3) Business Proposal, including the Small Business Subcontracting Plan, and (4) Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan. Each of the parts shall be separate and complete in itself so that evaluation of one may be accomplished independently of, and concurrently with, evaluation of the other. The technical proposal shall not contain reference to cost; however resources information, such as data concerning labor hours and categories, materials, subcontracts, etc., shall be contained in the technical proposal so that your understanding of the Statement of Work (SOW) may be evaluated.It must disclose your technical approach in as much detail as possible, including, but not limited to, the requirements of the technical proposal instructions.

   d. Evaluation of Proposals:The Government will evaluate technical proposals in accordance with the criteria set forth in Section M, Evaluation/Award Criteria.

   e. Rejection of Proposals:The Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received. It is understood that your proposal will become part of the official contract file.

   f. Unnecessarily Elaborate Proposals:Unnecessarily elaborate brochures or other presentations beyond those sufficient to present a complete and effective proposal are not desired and may be construed as an indication of the offeror's lack of cost consciousness. Elaborate art work, expensive visual and other presentation aids are neither necessary nor wanted.

    g. Privacy Act:The Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law (P.L.) 93-579) requires that a Federal agency advise each individual whom it asks to supply information: 1) the authority which authorized the solicitation; 2) whether disclosure is voluntary or mandatory; (3) the principal purpose or purposes for which the information is intended to be used; (4) the uses outside the agency which may be made of the information; and 4) the effects on the individual, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information.

Therefore:

      (1) The Government is requesting the information called for in this RFP pursuant to the authority provided by Section 301(g) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, and P.L. 92-218, as amended.

      (2) Provisions of the information requested are entirely voluntary.

      (3) The collection of this information is for the purpose of conducting an accurate, fair, and adequate review prior to a discussion as to whether to award a contract.

      (4) Failure to provide any or all of the

      (5) The information provided by you may be routinely disclosed for the following purposes:

         -to the cognizant audit agency and the General Accounting Officer for auditing;

         -to the Department of Justice as required for litigation;

         -to respond to Congressional inquiries; and

         -to qualified experts, not within the definition of Department employees for opinions as a part of the review process.

In addition, the Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-579, Section 7) requires that the following information be provided when individuals are requested to disclose their social security number.

Provision of the social security number is voluntary. Social security numbers are requested for the purpose of accurate and efficient identification, referral, review and management of AHRQ contracting programs. Authority for requesting this information is provided by Section 305 and Title IV of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.

   h. The RFP does not commit the Government to pay any cost for the preparation and submission of a proposal.It is also brought to your attention that the Contracting Officer is the only individual who can legally commit the Government to the expenditure of public funds in connection with this or any acquisition action.

The Government reserves the right to award a contract without discussions if the Contracting Officer determines that the initial prices are fair and reasonable and that discussions are not necessary.

L.8 INSTRUCTIONS TO OBTAIN MEPS MEDICAL PROVIDER COMPONENTS REFERENCE MATERIALS

This section identifies materials mentioned in the scope of work, as well as other materials that may be useful to potential offerors.  The majority of these materials are available online at http://www.meps.ahrq.gov.

Some of the materials are available by request only and may be obtained on CD-ROM by making a request by E-mail to Mary Haines, Contracting Officer at Mary.Haines@ahrq.hhs.gov. Please reference Solicitation Number/RFP Number in written requests. Telephone requests will not be honored.

The following is a list of the Reference Materials available online only:

Survey questionnaires

A complete set of HC and MPC survey questionnaires can be located on the MEPS Web site at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/survey_comp/survey_questionnaires.jsp. The complete set of questionnaires, which is available as programming specifications is nearly 1,000 pages long, and is divided into many sections on the MEPS Web site.  We regret that we cannot provide hard copy documents.

Data files 

All MEPS data files and documentation are available on the Web, free of charge.  The index page is: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/download_data_files.jsp.

General Information  

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.  Inquiry.  This report is available at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/Pub_ProdResults_Details.jsp?pt=Journa%20Articles&opt=3&id=324.

General information can also be obtained by reading the documentation for MEPS data files (see above) and from the on-line MEPS workshop materials (which are available at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/about_meps/workshops_events.jsp).

Methodological Reports

Design, Methods and Field Results of the 1996 Medical Provider Component.   The report is available at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr9/mr9.pdf

Sample Design of the 1997 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component.  This report is available at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr11/mr11.pdf

Estimation Procedures in the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component.  This report is available at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr5/mr5.pdf

Outpatient Prescription Drugs: Data Collection and Editing in the 1996 Medical Expenditure Survey (HC-010A). This report is available at: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/mr12/mr12.pdf.

The following is a list of the Reference Materials available on CD-ROM only by making a request by E-mail to Mary Haines, Contracting Officer at Mary.Haines@ahrq.hhs.gov. Please reference Solicitation Number/RFP Number AHRQ-08-10004 in written requests. Telephone requests will not be honored.:

General Information

Cohen, S. Design Strategies and Innovations in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Medical Care, July 2003: 41(7) Supplement: III-5-III-12. A reprint of this article is available.

Methodological Reports

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Plan for Overall Data Processing (Draft Report)

MEPS Medical Provider Component Annual Methodology Report

MEPS Annual Methodology Report

Matching

Winglee, M, Valliant, R., Brick, J.M., et.al., Probability matching of medical events. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 1999:23: pp. 1-12.

Probability matching of medical events for the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (Draft Report)

Editing and Imputation

MEPS Plans for: Editing and Imputation, 2007 Full Year (FY) Use and Insurance File, and 2007 Event Files

2004 MEPS Prescription Drug Editing and Analytic Specifications (includes specifications for matching and imputation as well as editing)

Coding

MEPS Inter-Round Processing and Source of Payment (SOP) Coding (Draft Report)

Coding Plan for 2007 Conditions and Procedures and Prescribed Medicines Coding

L.9 TECHNICAL PROPOSAL INSTRUCTIONS

The technical proposal shall contain an original and 12 copies. The number of pages shall not exceed 100 pages not including resumes or bibliographies, with no less than a 11 point pitch, with the majority of the text double-spaced (lists of deliverables, person loading charts, and similar materials need not be double-spaced, so long as they are legible).

   a. Recommended Technical Proposal Format

To assist in the expeditious and comprehensive evaluation of your proposal, the Government desires that you follow the guidelines and format listed below:

      (1) Cover Page:  The name of the proposing organization, author(s) of the technical proposal, the RFP number and the title of the RFP should appear on the cover.  One (1) manually signed original copy of the proposal and the number of copies specified in the RFP cover letter are required.

      (2) Table of Contents:  Provide sufficient detail so that all important

      (3) Introduction:  This should be a one or two page summary outlining the proposed work, your interest in submitting a proposal, and the importance of this effort in relation to your overall operation.

      (4) Technical Discussion:  The offeror shall prepare a technical discussion which addresses evaluation criteria 1, 2, 3, and 4 below (including their subcriteria).  Evaluation criteria 5 and 6 are to be prepared in accordance with Sections L.10 and L.12.  The offeror shall further state that no deviations or exceptions to the SOW are taken.   The evaluation criteria (and their respective subcriteria) are as follows:

1.         Technical Approach

a.  Technical Discussion

b.  Matching, Imputation and Estimation Discussion

c.  Quality Assurance Plan

2.         Management Plan

3.         Personnel

4.         Facilities and Equipment and Corporate Resources     

5.         Past Performance

6.         Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan

Technical proposals submitted in response to this RFP shall address each of the items described below, and shall be organized in the same manner and within the page limitations specified.  Proposals shall be prepared in double-spaced format, with numbered pages.

1. Technical Approach

   a. Technical Discussion

The offeror shall describe in detail the methodologies they will use for this project, indicating their level of experience with each, areas of anticipated difficulties, and any unusual problems they anticipate.  The offeror shall also address each of the following as they pertain to the tasks below described in the statement of work:

      (1) How the listing of providers generated on an ongoing basis from the HC will be unduplicated and the methods that will be used to construct a complete but unduplicated list of providers to minimize the number of providers receiving multiple data requests.

      (2) A discussion of what methods will be used to minimize inevitable multiple contacts on response rates, especially in the context of an ongoing, longitudinal survey.

      (3) A description of the methods that will be used to insure that all possible sources of medical records within a hospital are uncovered by the MPC interviewers.

      (4) A plan for mode of data capture including why the mode decided upon was chosen.

      (5) The facilities available for the coordination of receipt of data through multiple media

      (6) The procedures that will be used to minimize the need for data retrieval from providers.

      (7) A description of how offeror will monitor response rates proactively and develop a plan of action for potential response rate problems.

      (8) A plan on how the offeror will manage version control of data files and documents.

      (9) A plan which describes MPC processes and how offeror will manage the maintenance/updating of these processes.

      (10) A document describing the cost efficiencies of the proposed trainings.

      (11) A description of the offeror's data management plan including the soundness of the plan.

      (12) A plan describing data delivery and coordination with AHRQ and the HC contractor.

      (13) A description of the systems for conducting data collection and abstraction activities.

      (14) A description of the data security procedures that will be used and their conformity with the appropriate Federal standards.

      (15) Procedures for back up of data files.

      (16) A description of the offerer's experience in processing complex data.

The offeror should assume the following:

      * At the provider level, approximately 85 percent of hospital providers and 50 percent of office based provider providers will require abstraction. These percentages will increase at the provider/pair level.

      * Approximately 9,000 prescribed medicine strings will require coding.

      * Approximately 22,500 procedure text strings will require coding.

      * Approximately 8,500 condition text strings will require coding.

   b. Matching, Imputation, and Estimation Discussion

The offeror will show successful demonstration of the statistical and substantive soundness of the data matching techniques proposed for non-prescribed medicines event types.

The offeror will display successful demonstration of the soundness of the prescribed drug matching, editing, and imputation techniques proposed.

The offeror will demonstrate a plan for addressing innovation and technological advancements and capability to maintain compatibility with industry mechanisms.

   c. Quality Assurance Plan

The offeror shall provide a quality assurance plan that details how they shall monitor and control the following: technical quality, responsiveness, cost control, and effective and efficient resources utilization as well as compliance with the technical requirements and contract provisions.  It should clearly show a proposed system for quality of work performed including documents to be produced, and a proposed system for management and version control.  The offeror should describe managerial problems they may encounter and the methods to be used in solving these problems.  The offeror shall also demonstrate the ability and flexibility to respond rapidly to changes in budget, priorities and the schedule.

2. Management Plan

The offeror shall provide a detailed plan as to how they shall staff and manage the contract throughout the period of performance including the option years.  The Management Plan shall be included in the offeror's proposal and be updated at six month intervals from the effective date of the contract through the life of the project.  These updates to the Management Plan shall include accomplishments relative to the originally proposed plan.   The Management Plan shall include staffing, field timing and quality, data collection and data processing and data delivery milestones.

Staffing

At a minimum, the Project Director and Directors for all major tasks should be considered key staff. Upon award of the contract, final determination of key staff will be made by AHRQ in consultation with the contractor. Prime contractor and subcontractor staffing should be clearly delineated.

The management plan should include a person-loading chart which presents the number of person-days allocated to each task and subtask for each category of staff for each year of the contract and for the total contract.  The chart(s) should also delineate critical milestones and the deliverables for each. 

Below is an outline of tasks for be used for the Person-Loading Chart for the Medical Provider Component

      1) Management and General Requirements which will include an Earned Value Management System (EVMS)

      2) Receipt Control of Permission Forms (which establish MPC sample)

      3) Implement and Document the Sample

      4) Unduplication

      5) Identification of Hospital Physicians

      6) Maintenance of Provider Directory

      7) Maintenance of Survey data Collection Instruments and Materials

      8) Recruit, Manage and Train Data Collection Staff

      9) Recruit, Manage and Train Abstraction Staff

      10) Recruit, Manage and Train Coding/Verification Staff

      11) Data Collection

        (a) Hospitals (Emergency room, Outpatient and Overnight stays)

        (b) Hospital identified physicians

        (c) Office based sample (includes HMOs)

        (d) Home health care agency providers

        (e) Pharmacies

        (f) Long term health care (LTC) facilities

   12) Data Processing

   13) Development of Security Plan

   14) Forms Control and Receipt

   15) Data Entry

   16) Coding and Cleaning

   17) Matching (for all MPC Provider Types)

   18) Editing and Imputing Prescribed Medicines Data

   19) Preparation and Delivery of Internal MPC Files and Matched Files for All Provider Types (include Unmatched Data in Delivery), and for Prescribed Medicines Fully Imputed and Edited Files

        (a) Archival versions of the full operational database

        (b) Event file - hospital stays (includes hospital identified physician and their payments and can be identified as such)

        (c) Event file - emergency room visits

        (d) Event file - outpatient department visits

        (e) Event file—medical provider visits (includes HMOs)

        (f) Event file—home health care

        (g) Event File—long term health care (includes assisted living facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, etc.)

        (h) Event File—pharmacies

   20) Benchmarking and Quality Control

Option Periods 1 and 2

The Option Periods should mirror the person loading chart for the base period proposal, reflecting the incremental cost of option Period 1, given the base period award and then the incremental cost of option period 2, given the award of option period 1.

The management plan should also include an organizational chart (s) which presents the placement of the project within the offeror's organization and the organization of the staff proposed for this project.  The chart(s) shall show clear lines of authority and function.

Field Activities

The Management Plan should include a schedule for completion of the work and delivery of items specified in the statement of work.  Particular attention should be paid to the most important milestones in the medical provider data collection.

   (1) Beginning and end dates of MPC data collection

   (2) Field performance relative to response rates as indicated in Table 4.2.8(A).

Data Processing

The Management Plan should detail major and intermediate milestones for each of the subtasks for Sections 4.2 and 4.3 of the SOW.  The management plan should also be specified how the work to construct the matched internal files for all provider types and the fully edited and imputed prescribed medicines file will be completed and managed - what tasks will be assigned to which group of persons.  Key dates for the production of each file should be specified along with the proposed method(s) of quality control and benchmarking the estimates.  Performance or delivery schedules shall be indicated for phases or segments or tasks, as applicable, as well as for the overall program.

Data Delivery

The Management Plan shall affirm the delivery dates for files as specified in Section F for the base period of the contract, and if the option period(s) are exercised, the delivery dates specified in the delivery schedule for parallel data files in the option period(s) specified in Section F, as well.  At each update to the Management Plan, expected deviation from the contractually specified dates should be noted, along with any reason for deviation.  Should the deviation be such that a later date is anticipated, potential corrective actions and their implications should be noted.

Schedules should be shown in terms of calendar months from the effective date of the contract or, where applicable, from the date of a stated event, as for example, receipt of a required approval by the Contracting Officer.  Unless the offeror's proposal indicates that the stipulated schedules are mandatory, they shall be treated as desired or recommended schedules.  In this event, proposals based upon the offeror's best alternative schedule, involving no overtime, extra shift or other premium, will be accepted for consideration.

Separate from the Project Plan, the offeror must describe the relationship with all subcontractors and consultants including monitoring of their performance. Subcontract information must be provided for each year of the contract including a summary for the entire project performance. The offeror must demonstrate that the subcontracting plan meets the DHHS/ AHRQ subcontracting goals. The AHRQ recommended goal (as a percentage of planned subcontracting dollars for the base period) is 19% for Small businesses, which include at least 5% for Small disadvantaged Businesses, 5% for women-owned small businesses, 3% for HUBZone small businesses and 3% for Service-Disabled Veteran-owned small businesses.

3. Personnel

Describe the experience and qualifications of personnel who will be assigned for direct work on this program.  Information is required which will show the composition of the task or work group, its general qualifications, and recent experience with similar equipment or programs.  Special mention shall be made of direct technical supervisors and key personnel, and the approximate percentage of the total time each will be available for this contract.

OFFERORS SHOULD ASSURE THAT THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, AND ALL OTHER PERSONNEL PROPOSED, SHALL NOT BE COMMITTED ON FEDERAL GRANTS AND CONTRACTS FOR MORE THAN A TOTAL OF 100% OF THEIR TIME.  IF THE SITUATION ARISES WHERE IT IS DETERMINED THAT A PROPOSED EMPLOYEE IS COMMITTED FOR MORE THAN 100% OF HIS OR HER TIME, THE GOVERNMENT WILL REQUIRE ACTION ON THE PART OF THE OFFEROR TO CORRECT THE TIME COMMITMENT.

   a. Principal Investigator/Project Director

List the name of the Principal Investigator/Project Director responsible for overall implementation of the contract as well as the key contact for technical aspects of the project.  Discuss the qualifications, experience and accomplishments of the Principal Investigator/Project Director.  State the estimated time to be spent on the project, his/her proposed duties, and the areas or phases for which he/she will be responsible.

   b. Other Investigators

List all other investigators/professional personnel who will be participating in the project.  Discuss their qualifications, experience, and accomplishments.  State the estimated time to be spent on the project, his/her proposed duties, and the areas or phases for which he/she will be responsible.

   c. Additional Personnel

List names, titles, and proposed duties of additional personnel, if any, who will be required for full-time employment, or on a subcontract or consultant basis.  The technical areas, character, and extent of subcontract or consultant activity should be indicated and their qualifications described.  For all proposed personnel who are not currently members of the offeror=s staff, a letter of commitment or other evidence of availability is required.  A resume does not meet this requirement.  Commitment letters for use of consultants and other personnel to be hired must include:

          -The specific items or expertise they will provide.

          -Their availability to the project and the amount of time anticipated.

          -Willingness to act as a consultant.

          -How rights to publications and patents will be handled.

   d. Resumes

Resumes of all key personnel are required.  Each much indicate educational background, recent experience, specific or technical accomplishments, and a listing of relevant publications.

4. Facilities, Equipment and Corporate Resources

The offeror shall describe the suitability, quality and cost-efficiency of their facilities and equipment available for the performance of all requirements of this acquisition.  There will be daily interaction between AHRQ staff and the Offeror's staff so suitable logistical plans to facilitate communications and meetings must be addressed. Offerors should describe the adequacy of any additional corporate resources available to complete the requirements of this acquisition. Any additional corporate resources discussion should include a brief description of how the resource is relevant to the procurement solicitation.

5. Past Performance see L.10 below

6. Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan See L.12

L.10 PAST PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Offerors shall submit the following information (original and 3 hard copies as part of their proposal for both the offeror and proposed major subcontractors:

1) A list of the last five (5) contracts and subcontracts completed during the past three years and all contracts and subcontracts currently in process that are directly related to the type of work being requested by this solicitation. Contracts listed may include those entered into by the Federal Government, agencies of State and local governments and commercial customers. Offerors that are newly formed entities without prior contracts should list contracts and subcontracts as required for all key personnel. Include the following information for each contract and subcontract:

   a. Name of contracting activity

   b. Contract number

   c. Contract type

   d. Total contract value

   e. Contracting Officer and telephone number

   f. Program Manager and telephone number

(2) The offeror may provide information on problems encountered on the contracts and subcontracts identified in (1) above and corrective actions taken to resolve those problems. Offerors should not provide general information on their performance on the identified contracts. General performance information will be obtained from the references.

(3) The offeror may describe any quality awards or certifications that may indicate the offeror possesses a high-quality process for developing and producing the product or service required. Identify what segment of the company (one division or the entire company) that received the award or certification. Describe when the award or certification was bestowed. If the award or certification is over three years old, present evidence that the qualifications still apply.

(4) Each offeror will be evaluated on their performance under existing and prior contracts for similar products or services. Performance information will be used for both responsibility determinations and as an evaluation factor against which offeror's relative rankings will be compared to assure best value to the Government. The Government will focus on information that demonstrates quality of performance relative to the size and complexity of the procurement under consideration. References other than those identified by the offeror may be contacted by the Government with the information received used in the evaluation of the offeror's past performance.

The attached Past Performance Questionnaire and Contractor Performance Form (Attachment 1) shall be requested to be completed by those contracting organizations listed in (1) above.The evaluation forms shall be completed and forwarded directly to the following:

Mary Haines
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Division of Contracts Management
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850
FAX: 301-427-1740

Evaluation forms must be received by March 13, 2008 in order to be included in the review process. It is the responsibility of the offeror to ensure that these documents are forwarded to the Contracting Officer.

L.11 BUSINESS PROPOSAL

The offeror shall submit as part of the proposal a separate enclosure titled "Business Proposal."  The Business Proposal shall include the Cost/Price Proposal, the Small Business Subcontracting Plan and Other Administrative Data in accordance with the following: Note: The Business Proposal must be submitted in Cost-Plus Award Fee format.  A base fee and an award fee must be proposed. Attachment 3 Breakdown of Proposed Estimated Cost and Labor hours is provided for your use in preparation of the business proposal.

A. Cost/Price Proposal

1. The cost/price proposal must contain sufficient information to allow the Government to perform a basic cost analysis of the proposed cost or price of the work.  This information shall include the amounts of the basic elements of the proposed cost or price.  The proposal costs should be provided by task, per period, for the Base three and one-half (3 ) years. The proposal should also include costs broken down and summarized by contract period, government fiscal year and cumulative costs for each period and government fiscal year.

A cost proposal, in the amount of an original and five (5) copies, shall be provided.  As appropriate, cost breakdowns shall be provided for the following cost elements:

   (a) Direct Labor

The estimated cost for all personnel who will be assigned for direct work on this project shall be included.  Give the name, title, percent of effort or time, salary and fringe benefits, for each employee.

Salary increases that are anticipated during performance of a resultant contract should be proposed as a cost.  If escalation is included, state the degree (percent) and methodology, e.g., annual flat rate applied to a base rate as of a specific date or a mid-pointed rate for the period of performance.  State whether any additional direct labor (new hires) will be required during the performance period of this procurement.  If so, state the number required and anticipated date of hire.  Also, specify the month and day on which your fiscal year commences.

   (b) Supplies and Equipment

Include description, unit price, quantity, total price, justification for purchasing or leasing items and the basis for pricing (vendor quotes, invoice prices, etc.).

   (c) Travel

The amount proposed for travel shall be supported with a breakdown which includes purpose, destination, duration, and estimated cost (transportation and per diem) for each proposed trip.  If travel costs are proposed on the basis of your organization's established travel policy, a copy of the policy must be provided. Included for each airplane or train trip taken are the name of the traveler, date of travel, destination, the transportation costs including ground transportation, shown separately, and per diem costs.  Other travel costs shall also be listed.  A total amount for this category shall be provided.

   (d) Consultants

This element should include names(s) of consultant, number of days, and daily rate.  The method of obtaining each consultant, either sole source or competitive, and the degree of competition or the rationale for sole source shall be explained.

   (e) Subcontractors

Subcontractor costs shall be broken down in sufficient detail adequate to establish the reasonableness of the proposed amount.  Support documentation should include degree of subcontract competition and basis for selecting source.

   (f) Other Direct Costs

Any proposed other direct costs shall be supported with breakdown outlining the separate costs proposed and details supporting the formulation of the costs proposed.  A signed agreement between the offeror and any personnel other than direct employees that includes dates of employment, salary, and specific tasks to be performed should be included.

Note: Offerors should assume the following:

Respondents who request compensation for staff time or copying fees will be reimbursed at a rate not to exceed $50.00 per patient provider pair and the total such compensation will not exceed $200,000.

   (g) Indirect Costs

Indicate how you have computed and applied indirect costs, and provide a basis for evaluating the reasonableness of the proposed rates.  Where a rate agreement exists, provide a copy.

2. Certified documentation indicating that the offeror has a cost accounting system in place which allows for the collection, tracking and reporting of all costs under a cost reimbursement-type contract.

3. Certified documentation that the offeror has a current indirect cost rate agreement in place with a federal agency or that is in the process of obtaining or revising such an agreement.  A copy of the indirect cost rate agreement or the proposed rate agreement shall be provided.

B. Other Administrative Data

(1)   Terms and Conditions:  The proposal shall stipulate that it is predicated upon the terms and conditions of the RFP.  In addition, it shall contain a statement to the effect that it is firm for a period of at least 120 days from the date of receipt thereof by the Government.

Minimum Bid Acceptance Period

   (a) "Acceptance period," as used in this provision, means the number of calendar days available to the Government for awarding a contract from the date specified in this solicitation for receipt of bids.

   (b) This provision supersedes any language pertaining to the acceptance period that may appear elsewhere in this solicitation.

   (c) The Government requires a minimum acceptance period of 120 days.

   (d) A bid allowing less than the Government's minimum acceptance period may be rejected.

   (e) The bidder agrees to execute all that it has undertaken to do, in compliance with its bid, if that bid is accepted in writing within (i) the acceptance period stated in paragraph (3) above, or (ii) any longer acceptance period stated in paragraph (4) above.

(2) Authority to Conduct Negotiations:  The proposal shall list the names and telephone numbers of persons authorized to conduct negotiations and to execute contracts.

(3) Property:

   (a) It is HHS policy that contractors will provide all equipment and facilities necessary for performance of contracts.  Exception may be granted to furnish Government-owned property, or to authorize purchase with contract funds, only when approved by the contracting officer.  If additional equipment must be acquired, you shall include the description, estimated cost of each item and whether you will furnish such items with your own funds.

   (b) You shall identify Government-owned property in your possession and/or property acquired from Federal funds to which you have title, that is proposed to be used in the performance of the prospective contract.

   (c) The management and control of any Government property shall be in accordance with HHS Publication (OS) 74-115 entitled, Contractor's Guide for Control of Government Property" 1990, a copy of which will be provided upon request.

(4) Royalties:  You shall furnish information concerning royalties which are anticipated to be paid in connection with the performance of work under the proposed contract.

(5) Commitments:  You shall list other commitments with the Government relating to the specified work or services and indicate whether these commitments will or will not interfere with the completion of work and/or services contemplated under this proposal.

(6) Financial Capacity:  You shall provide sufficient data to indicate that you have the necessary financial capacity, working capital, and other resources to perform the contract without assistance from any outside source.  If not, indicate the amount required and the anticipated source.  (Financial data such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash forecasts, and financial histories of your organization's affiliated concerns should be utilized.)

(7) Performance Capability:  You shall provide acceptable evidence of your "ability to obtain" equipment, facilities, and personnel necessary to perform the requirements of this  project.  If these are not represented in your current operations, they should normally be supported by commitment or explicit arrangement, which is in existence at the time the contract is to be awarded, for the rental, purchase, or other acquisition of such resources, equipment, facilities, or personnel.  Indicate your ability to comply with the required or proposed delivery or performance schedule taking into consideration all existing business commitments, commercial as well as Government.

The offeror shall describe the suitability, quality and cost-efficiency of their facilities and equipment available for the performance of all requirements of this acquisition.  There will be daily interaction between agency research staff and the Offeror's staff so suitable logistical plans to facilitate communications and meetings must be addressed.

The contractor shall maintain a list of all items, both expendable and non-expendable, which are unique or in excess of regular office needs normally captured in an indirect cost pool.  These items are considered Government property and are cost of goods inventory deliverable to the Government at the end of the contract

(8)   Representations and Certifications:  Section K, "Representations and Certifications and Other Statements of Offerors" shall be completed and signed by an official authorized to bind your organization.  This section shall be made a part of the original business proposal.

L.12 SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS PARTICIPATION PLAN

In accordance with FAR Part 15.304(c)4, the extent of participation of Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) concerns in performance of the contract shall be evaluated in unrestricted acquisitions expected to exceed a total estimated cost of $500,000 ($1,000,000 for construction) subject to certain limitations (see FAR 19.201 and 19.1202).

A. All offerors, regardless of size, shall submit the following information (an original and one copy).

A plan on the extent of participation of Small Disadvantaged Business concerns in performance of the contract. Participation in performance of the contract includes the work expected to be performed by SDB concern(s). This can include SDB (as prime contractor), joint ventures, teaming arrangements, and subcontracts. Include the following information in SDB participation plans:

1. The extent of an offeror's commitment to use SDB concerns. Commitment should be as specific as possible, i.e., are subcontract arrangements already in place, letters of commitment, etc. Enforceable commitments will be weighted more heavily than non-enforceable ones.

2. Specifically identify the SDB concerns with point of contact and phone number.

3. The complexity and variety of the work SDB concerns are to perform.

4. Realism for the use of SDB in the proposal.

5. Past performance of the Offeror in complying with subcontracting plans for SDB concerns.

6. Targets expressed as dollars and percentage of total contract value for each participating SDB; which will be incorporated into and become part of any resulting contract.

7. The extent of participation of SDB concerns in terms of the total acquisition.

B. SDB participation information will be used for both responsibility determinations and as an evaluation factor against which offeror's relative rankings will be compared to assure the best value to the Government.The Government will focus on information that demonstrates realistic commitments to use SDB concerns relative to the size and complexity of the acquisition under consideration.The Government is not required to contact all references provided by the offeror. Also, references other than those identified by the offeror may be contacted by the Government to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation of the offeror's commitment to SDB participation.

L.13 SMALL BUSINESS SUBCONTRACTING PLAN

All offerors except small businesses are required to submit a subcontracting plan in accordance with the Small Business Subcontracting Plan, FAR 52.219-9, incorporated in this solicitation. A copy of the AHRQ model subcontracting plan is available at http://www.knownet.hhs.gov/smallbus/small_business_programs_manual/APPENDIX.pdf (Appendix 4-1 of the Small Business Program Handbook). If the model plan is not used, all elements outlined must be addressed in the offeror's format. If the offeror is not a small business and fails to submit a subcontracting plan with the initial proposal, the offeror will be considered nonresponsive and their proposal will be returned without further consideration. The offeror is expected to provide a plan that meets the minimum subcontracting levels specified elsewhere in this solicitation.

This provision does not apply to small business concerns. This provision does apply to all other offerors, including large business concerns, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations.

The term "subcontract" means any agreement (other than one involving an employer-employee relationship) entered into by a Federal Government prime contractor or subcontractor calling for supplies or services required for the performance of the original contract or subcontract. This includes, but is not limited to, agreements/ purchase orders for supplies and services such as equipment purchase, copying services, and travel services.

The offeror understands that:

   a. No contract will be awarded unless and until an acceptable plan is negotiated with the Contracting Officer. The plan will be incorporated in to the contract.

   b. An acceptable plan must, in the determination of the Contracting officer, provide the maximum practicable opportunity for small business concerns and small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged persons to participate in the performance of the contract.

   c. If a subcontracting plan acceptable to the Contracting Officer is not negotiated within the time limits prescribed by the contracting activity and such failure arises out of causes within the control and with the fault or negligence of the offeror, the offeror shall be ineligible for award. The Contracting Officer shall notify the Contractor in writing of the reasons for determining a subcontracting plan unacceptable early enough in the negotiation process to allow the Contractor to modify the plan within the time limits prescribed.

   d. Prior compliance of the offeror with other such subcontracting plans under previous contracts will be considered by the Contracting Officer in determining the responsibility of the offeror for award of the contract.

   e. It is the offeror's responsibility to develop a satisfactory subcontracting plan with respect to small business concerns and small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and women-owned small business concerns, and that each such aspect of the offeror's plan will be judged independent of the other.

   f. The offeror will submit, as required by the Contracting Officer, subcontracting reports in accordance with the instructions thereon, and as further directed by the Contracting Officer. Subcontractors will also submit these reports to the Government Contracting Officer or as otherwise directed, with a copy to the prime Contractor's designated small and disadvantaged business liaison.

   g. For this particular acquisition, the AHRQ recommended goal (as a percentage of total contract value for the base period) is 30% for Small Businesses, which shall include at least 5.5% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Small Disadvantaged Businesses, at least 5% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Women-Owned Small Businesses, and at least 3% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for HUBZone Small Businesses and at least 3% (as a percentage of total planned subcontract dollars for the base period) for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. These goals represent AHRQ's expectations of the minimum level for subcontracting with small business at the prime contract level. Any goal stated less than the AHRQ recommended goal shall be justified and is subject to negotiation.

L.14 SELECTION OF OFFEROR

   a. The acceptability of the technical portion of the contract proposal will be evaluated by the technical review committee. The committee will evaluate the proposal in strict conformity with the evaluation criteria of the RFP, utilizing point scores and written critiques. The committee may suggest that the Contracting Officer request clarifying information from an offeror.

   b. A Cost Advisory Report may be performed on the business portion of the contract proposal.

   c. Past performance of the technically acceptable offeror will be evaluated by AHRQ staff. A competitive range will be determined.Oral or written discussions will be conducted with the offerors in the competitive range, if necessary.All aspects of the proposals are subject to discussions, including cost, technical approach, past performance, and contractual terms and conditions. Final Proposal Revisions will be requested with the reservation of the right to conduct limited negotiations after submission of the Final Proposal Revisions.

   d. A final best-buy analysis will be performed taking into consideration the results of the technical evaluation, cost analysis, past performance, and ability to complete the work within the Government's required schedule. The Government reserves the right to make an award to the best advantage of the Government, technical merit, cost, past performance, and other factors considered.

   e. The Government reserves the right to make a single award, multiple awards, or no award at all to the RFP.

L.15 PROPOSAL INTENT

It is requested that if an offeror intends to submit a proposal to this solicitation that the attached Proposal Intent form be completed and returned to the address indicated by February 15, 2008.The submission of the intent form is not binding on an offeror to submit a proposal, nor does the failure to submit the form prohibit an offeror from submitting a proposal.The purpose of the form is to provide us with an estimated number of proposals to assist us in our planning and logistics for the proposal review meeting. The intent form also asks if an offeror would like to have their names placed on a bidders list for posting to Federal Business Opportunities so partnering efforts can be facilitated by interested parties.

SECTION M—EVALUATION FACTORS FOR AWARD

TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA

Selection of an offeror for contract award will be based on an evaluation of proposals against four factors.The four factors are: scientific technical merit, past performance, small disadvantaged business participation plan and cost. The scientific technical merit of the proposals will receive paramount consideration for this acquisition.

THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AN AWARD WITHOUT DISCUSSION

All proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the governing regulations and AHRQ policies and procedures. The technical proposal and past performance will be evaluated in terms of the offeror's responses to each of the evaluation factors. The proposal will be evaluated on the likelihood of meeting the Government's requirements. The evaluation will be based on the technical and administrative capabilities in relation to the needs of the program and anticipated tasks. The Government reserves the right to make an award to the best advantage of the Government.

The evaluation factors and assigned weights which will be used in the overall review of the offeror's proposal are outlined below.The technical proposal shall consist of the responses to evaluation criteria 1 through 4 (including subcriteria).The offeror should show that the objectives stated in the proposal are understood and offer a logical program for their achievement. The following criteria will be used to evaluate the proposal and will be weighted as indicated in establishing a numerical rating for all proposals submitted. Factors facilitating the evaluation of each criteria below are referenced in the corresponding criteria found in Section L of this solicitation:

The evaluation factors and assigned weights which will be used in the overall review of the offeror's proposal are outlined below.The technical proposal shall consist of the responses to evaluation criteria A through F. The offeror should show that the objectives stated in the proposal are understood and offer a logical program for their achievement.The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals and will be weighted as indicated in establishing a numerical rating for all proposals submitted.

OFFERORS PLEASE NOTE: Evaluation Criteria 1 through 4, for a total of 100 points, will be evaluated by a peer review technical committee, who will also recommend technical acceptability or unacceptability of the proposal.  Agency staff and contracting personnel will review and evaluate Criteria 5 and 6, for a total of 25 points.  The total possible points for Evaluation Criteria 1 through 6 is 125 points.

1. Technical Approach

   a. Technical Discussion (20 points)

The proposal shall be evaluated on the reasonableness, clarity and feasibility of the technical approach, including:

          * provide evidence of overall plan for coordinating deliverables including data files and materials between the HC and MPC contractors, particularly those occurring concurrently or in a linked manner;

          * provide evidence of integration of data collection methods and processing, and data cleaning, data abstraction and matching tasks; and

          * provide evidence of the soundness of the data management plan.

    b. Matching, Imputation and Estimation Discussion (15 points)

          * successful demonstration of the statistical and substantive soundness of the data matching techniques proposed for non-prescribed medicines event types;

          * successful demonstration of the soundness of the prescribed drug matching, editing, and imputation techniques proposed; and

          * provide evidence of a plan for addressing innovation and technological advancements and capability to maintain compatibility with industry mechanisms.

   c. Quality Assurance Plan (20 points)

The offeror's Quality Assurance Plan shall be evaluated as to the degree that the offeror has control systems available to ensure at a minimum satisfactory performance under the contract.

2. Management Plan (20 points)

The management plan will be evaluated on the appropriateness of the organizational structure and management systems, their management of subcontractors/consultants, and/or other vendors their ability to handle multiple simultaneous tasks with competing needs, the personnel assigned to each task and the person-days proposed, the plan for ensuring availability of adequate staff, and the planned methods for assuring the successful completion of all tasks within the time and budget allocated.

Naming conventions for documents and file deliveries should be developed so that all persons will have an understanding of what the deliverable includes.

The management plan should have built in the necessary integration of work and compatibility of data files and other materials with AHRQ for the HC contractor as the two projects are intertwined.

The Contractor shall use an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) in the management of this contract that is consistent with ANSI/EIA-STD-748 guidelines.

3. Personnel Plan (20 points)

A Certified Project Manger must be part of the management team of the contractor.

The contractor shall define and implement methods for selecting abstraction staff, both supervisory and non-supervisory, which will reliably predict quality performance of all abstraction activities.  The criteria will include previous work experience, work samples, and education.

The contractor shall define and implement methods for selecting data collection staff, both supervisory and non-supervisory, which will reliably predict quality performance of all data collection activities.  The criteria will include previous work experience, work samples, and education.

The contractor shall define and implement methods for selecting data coding and verification staff, both supervisory and non-supervisory, which will reliably predict quality performance of all data collection activities.  The criteria will include previous work experience, work samples, and education.

The resumes of proposed key personnel and consultants will be evaluated for documented experience, educational background and training as they relate to the requirements of this acquisition.  The availability of proposed staff and their designated responsibility on the project will be evaluated. Proposed staff expertise needs to match the criteria described in the Statement of Work. After award of the contract, all change in key staff have to be disclosed to the government and all key staff new hires have to be approved by the government.

4. Facilities, Equipment and Corporate Resources (5 points)

Offerors will evaluated on the adequacy of the resources available to complete the requirements of this acquisition including the adequacy of corporate resources, computer hardware and software, the availability of a staff trained in the necessary expertise for the complexity of this contract, and the availability of facilities to support this effort.

5. Past Performance (20 points)

(TO BE RATED ONLY AFTER A DETERMINATION OF TECHNICAL ACCEPTABILITY OF THE OFFEROR'S PROPOSAL, BASED ON THE ABOVE TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA)

The offeror's past performance will be evaluated after completion of the technical evaluation. Only those offerors determined to be technically acceptable will be evaluated.Each offeror will be evaluated on its performance under existing and prior contracts for similar products or services. Performance information will be used for both responsibility determinations and as an evaluation factor against which offeror's relative rankings will be compared.

Attached to this solicitation is a questionnaire which is to be copied and provided to customers for current and recently completed (within the past year) projects for work related to this requirement. Please provide this questionnaire to your customers to complete and return to AHRQ no later than March 13, 2008.Offerors should also send this questionnaire to proposed major subcontractors so that they may also have their clients submit completed questionnaire to AHRQ for evaluation.

The Government reserves the right to evaluate relevant past performance information not specifically provided by the offeror.

Assessment of the offeror's past performance for AHRQ, as well as other agencies and organizations, will be one means of evaluating the credibility of the offeror's proposal and relative capability to meet performance requirements.The past performance evaluation will be conducting using information gathered from questionnaires and information received from the offeror's previous and current clients .Evaluation of past performance will often be subjective based on the consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. Information utilized will be obtained from the questionnaires received and from the references listed in the offeror's proposal, other clients known to AHRQ and others who may have useful and relevant information. Past performance will also be considered regarding subcontractors and key personnel.

The Government will assess the relative risks associated with each offeror. Performance risks are those associated with an offeror's likelihood of success in performing the acquisition requirements as indicated by the offeror's record of past performance.

Past performance will be scored on a range from 0 to 20, with 20 being the most favorable.

If the offeror or the proposed employees for the offeror, do not have a past performance history relative to this acquisition, or past performance not relative to this acquisition, the offeror will not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on this factor. A neutral rating will be determined.

In evaluating past performance the Government, will consider the offeror's effectiveness in quality of products or services; timeliness of performance; cost control; business practices; customer satisfaction, and key personnel past performance.

NOTICE: Past Performance questionnaires are to be provided to the contracting office NO LATER than the closing date and time of this solicitation. It is the offeror's responsibility to ensure that these documents are forwarded to the contracting office.

6. Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan (5 points)

(TO BE RATED ONLY AFTER A DETERMINATION OF TECHNICAL ACCEPTABILITY OF THE OFFEROR'S PROPOSAL, BASED ON THE ABOVE TECHNICAL EVALUATION CRITERIA)

The evaluation will be based on information obtained from the Small Disadvantaged Business Participation Plan provided by the offeror, the realism of the proposal, other relevant information from named SDB concerns, and any information supplied by the offeror concerning problems encountered in SDB participation.

Evaluation of the SDB Participation Plan will be a subjective assessment based on a consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances. It will not be based on absolute standards of acceptable performance.The Government is seeking to determine whether the offeror has demonstrated a commitment to use SDB concerns for the work that it intends to perform as the prime contractor.

The assessment of the offeror's SDB Participation Plan will be used as a means of evaluating the relative capability and commitment of the offeror and the other competitors. Thus, an offeror with an exceptional record of participation with SDB concerns may receive more points and a more favorable evaluation than another whose record is acceptable, even though both may have acceptable technical proposals.

SDB participation will be scored with offerors receiving points from 0 to 5, with 5 being the most favorable.

TOTAL AVAILABLE EVALUATION POINTS...............125 points

ATTACHMENT 1

PAST PERFORMANCE QUESTIONNAIRE

PART ONE: INSTRUCTIONS

The offeror listed below has submitted a proposal in response to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Solicitation No. AHRQ-08-10009, entitled "Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Medical Providers Component (MEPS MPC) Support." Past performance is an important part of the evaluation criteria for this acquisition, so input from previous customers of the offeror is important. This office would greatly appreciate you taking the time to complete this form. This information is to be provided to Mary Haines, the AHRQ Contracting Officer and is NOT to be disclosed to the offeror either verbally or in writing. Please provide an honest assessment and return to AHRQ to the address shown below, no later than March 13, 2008, 12 Noon Local Time. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Haines via E-mail at mary.haines@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Mary Haines
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Division of Contracts Management
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850
FAX: (301) 427-1740

NAME OF OFFEROR:_____________________________________

(Name of Organization, which is being evaluated. Please print or type)

ADDRESS:_____________________________________________

_____________________________________________

INCLUDE THIS PAGE WHEN PROVIDING PAST PERFORMANCE EVALUATION TO AHRQ

Contractor Performance Form

1. Name of Contractor:______________________________

2. Address:_________________________________________

_________________________________________

3. Contract/Grant Number: _______________________________________

4. Contract/Grant Value (Base Plus Options): ________________________

5. Contract/Grant Award Date: ____________________________________

6. Contract/Grant Completion Date: ________________________________

7. Type of Contract/Grant: (Check all that apply) ( )FP ( )FPI ()FP-EPA

( ) Award Fee ( ) CPFF-Completion ( ) CPFF-Term ( ) CPIF () CPAF

( ) IO/IQ ( ) BOA ( ) Requirements () Labor-Hour ()T&M ( ) SBSA

( )8(a) ( )SBIR ( ) Sealed Bid()Negotiated( )Competitive ( )Non-Competitive

Key:FP=Fixed Price, FPI=Fixed Price with Incentive, CPFF=Cost Plus Fixed Fee

T&M=Time and Materials

8. Description of Requirement:

CONTRACTOR'S PERFORMANCE RATING

Ratings: Summarize contractor performance and circle in the column on the right the number which corresponds to the performance rating for each rating category. Please see reverse page for explanation of rating scale.

Category Comments Rating Scale
Quality of Product or Service Comments

0

1

2

3

4

5

Cost Control Comments

0

1

2

3

4

5

Timeliness of Performance Comments

0

1

2

3

4

5

Business Relations Comments

0

1

2

3

4

5

(Please complete all items must in chart above)

Customer Satisfaction—Is/was the Contractor committed to customer satisfaction? Yes ___ No ___; Would you use this Contractor again? Yes ___ No ___

Reason: ________________________________________

NAME OF EVALUATOR: ________________________________________

(Please Print)

TITLE OF EVALUATOR: ________________________________________

SIGNATURE OF EVALUATOR:___________________________________

DATE:_____________________

MAILING ADDRESS: Include name of organization/ federal agency

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

PHONE #:__________________________________

E-MAIL :__________________________________

Rating Guidelines: Summarize contractor performance in each of the rating areas. Assign each area a rating 0 (Unsatisfactory), 1 (Poor), 2 (Fair), 3 (Good), 4 (Excellent), 5 (Outstanding). Use the following instructions as guidance in making these evaluations.

Rating Scale Quality Cost Control Timeliness of Performance Business Relation
 

-Compliance with contract requirements

-Accuracy of reports

-Technical excellence

-Within budget(over/ under target costs)

-Current, accurate, and complete billings

-Relationship of negotiated costs to actual

-Cost efficiencies

-Change orders issue

-Met interim milestones

-Reliable

-Responsive to technical direction

-Completed on time, including wrap-up and contract adm

-No liquidated damages assessed

-Effective management

-Businesslike correspondence

-Responsive to contract requirements

-Prompt notification of problems

-Reasonable/cooperative

-Flexible

-Pro-active

-Effective small/small disadvantaged business sub-contracting program

0-unsatisfactory

Nonconformances are jeopardizing the achievement of contract requirements, despite use of Agency resources

Ability to manage cost issues is jeopardizing performance of contract requirements, despite use of Agency resources

Delays are jeopardizing the achievement of contract requirements, despite use of Agency's resources

Response to inquiries, technical/service/administrative issues is not effective

1-Poor

Overall compliance requires major Agency resources to ensure achievement of contract requirements

Ability to manage cost issues requires major Agency resources to ensure achievement of contract requirements

Delays require major Agency resources to ensure achievement of contract requirements

Response to inquiries, technical/service/administrative issues is marginally effective

2-Fair

Overall compliance requires minor Agency resources to ensure achievement of contract requirements

Ability to manage cost issues requires minor Agency resources to ensure achievement of contract requirements

Delays require minor Agency resources to ensure achievement of contract requirements

Response to inquiries, technical/service/administrative issues is somewhat effective

3-Good

Overall compliance does not impact achievement of contract requirements

Management of cost issues does not impact achievement of contract requirements

Delays do not impact achievement of contract requirements

Response to inquiries, technical/service/administrative issues is usually effective

4-Excellent

There are no quality problems

There are no cost management issues

There are no delays

Response to inquiries, technical/service/administrative issues is effective

5-Outstanding

The Contractor has demonstrated an outstanding performance level that justifies adding a point to the score.It is expected that this rating will be used in those rare circumstances where Contractor performance clearly exceeds the performance levels described as "Excellent."

ATTACHMENT 2

PROPOSAL INTENT RESPONSE & APPROVAL TO RELEASE NAME FOR SUBCONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES (1 PAGE, 2 PURPOSES!)

RFP No. AHRQ-08-10009

MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY MEDICAL PROVIDERS COMPONENET (MEPS MPC) SUPPORT

Your expression of intent is not binding but will greatly assist us in planning for the proposal evaluation. Furnish the information requested below and return this page by FEBRUARY 15, 2008 TWO-PART FORM

[ ] INTEND TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL

[ ] DO NOT INTEND TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

[ ] I GRANT PERMISSION TO THE AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY, CONTRACTS OFFICE TO ADD THE CONTACT INFORMATION BELOW TO A BIDDERS LIST TO PROVIDE TO OTHER INTERESTED OFFERORS FOR SUBCONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES. (*MUST INCLUDE AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE)

COMPANY/INSTITUTION NAME:

*AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE:

TYPED NAME AND TITLE:

DATE:

[ ] PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE THE CONTACT INFORMATION.

Please return to:

Mary Haines
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Contracts Management
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850
FAX: 301.427.1740

Attachment 3

BREAKDOWN OF PROPOSED ESTIMATED COST (PLUS FEE) AND LABOR HOURS

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE OF THE FORMAT

1. Refer to Business Proposal Instructions, Section L of this solicitation. The Instructions contain the requirements for proper submission of cost/price data which must be adhered to.

2. This sample format has been prepared as a universal guideline for all solicitations. It may require amending to meet the specific requirements of this solicitation. For example, this solicitation may require the submission of cost/price data for three years listed on this form. (See Section L, Instructions, Conditions and Notices to Offerors, for the estimated duration of this project.) If this solicitation is phased, identify each phase in addition to each year. Total each year, phase, and sub-element.

3. This format must be used to submit the breakdown of all proposed estimated cost elements. List each cost element and sub-element for direct costs, indirect costs and fee, if applicable. In addition, provide detailed calculations for all items. For example:

   a. For all personnel, list the name, title, rate per hour and number of hours proposed. If a pool of personnel is proposed, list the composition of the pool and how the cost proposed was calculated. List the factor used for prorating Year One and the escalation rate applied between years.

   Offeror's proposal should be stated in the same terms as will be used to account for and record direct labor under a contract (i.e. percentage of effort is used for most faculty and professional employees at educational institutions). If percentages of effort are used, the basis to which such percentages are applied must also be submitted by the offeror. The attached format should be revised to accommodate direct labor proposed as a percentage of effort.

   b. For all materials, supplies, and other direct costs, list all unit prices, etc., to detail how the calculations were made.

   c. For all indirect costs, list the rates applied and the base the rate is applied to.

   d. For all travel, list the specifics for each trip.

   e. For any subcontract proposed, submit a separate breakdown format.

   f. Justification for the need of some cost elements may be listed as an attachment, i.e., special equipment, above average consultant fees, etc.

4. If the Government has provided "uniform pricing assumptions" for this solicitation, the offeror must comply with and identify each item.

Attachment 3

RFP Number:

Organization:

Date:

BREAKDOWN OF PROPOSED ESTIMATED COST (PLUS FEE) AND LABOR HOURS

Option Option Option

COST ELEMENT Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 1 Year 2 Yr 3 Total

DIRECT LABOR:

Hours Hours Hours Hours Hours Hours Hours

Labor Category Rate Amt Amt Amt Amt Amt Amt Amt

(Title and Name--use additional pages as necessary)

DIRECT LABOR COST:$ $ $ $ $ $____ etc.

MATERIAL COST:$ $ $ $ $ $

TRAVEL COST: $ $ $ $ $ $

OTHER (Specify) $ $ $ $ $ $

OTHER (Specify) $ $ $ $ $ $

TOTAL DIRECT COST: $ $ $ $ $ $

FRINGE BENEFIT COST:

(if applicable)

% of Direct Labor Cost $ $ $ $ $ $

INDIRECT COST:

% of Total Direct Cost $ $ $ $ $ $

TOTAL COST: $ $ $ $ $ $

FEE:

(if applicable)

% of Total Est. Cost $ $ $ $ $ $

GRAND TOTAL EST COST $ $ $ $ $ $

[1] Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 1999, Standards for Security Categorization of Federal Information and Information Systems, February 2004.

Current as of January 2008

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care