McLean, Virginia–Potomac Health Associates, Inc. (PHA) announced that it’s client, South Texas Health System (STHS), was awarded a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a comprehensive mix of inpatient hospital, medical and emergency services for veterans in a six-county region in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. STHS, owned by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS), was one of two organizations awarded five-year contracts. With $5.0 billion in net revenue for 2008, UHS is the nation’s third largest chain of investor-owned health care facilities.
The contracts emerged out of recommendations from a consulting study by Booz Allen Hamilton in August of 2007. Recognizing the unique aspects of federal contracting, STHS selected PHA to help them prepare their proposal. “We interviewed several experts in federal contracting,” according to Doug Matney, STHS Group Vice President for Acute Care Services, “and felt that PHA was best suited for this project.”
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), said that the hospital contracts will expand access to health care for Valley veterans: “These VA contracts enhance the emergency services and specialty health care available to Valley veterans so that they can get these services locally right away,” Hutchison said. “This immediate step is one of many more to come that will continue to significantly expand access to VA medical care in the region.” Combined with veterans’ outpatient facilities in Harlingen and McAllen, along with a new ambulatory-surgery center in Harlingen, these contracts should eliminate 95 percent of veterans’ trips to San Antonio for care.”
When first released last fall, despite significant elements of confusion and ambiguity in the RFP, VA was reluctant to make many of the changes and clarifications sought by bidders due to the extraordinary amount of political pressure to put the contracts in place. Originally claiming that offerors would have two months to prepare bids, VA subsequently reduced the time available by 25%, while providing limited guidance about some of the most critical elements of the solicitation. According to Matney, “PHA’s knowledge about how to deal with the uncertainties, before bids were due, and in subsequent negotiations with the VA prior to award was really invaluable, and gave us confidence to move forward, despite all of the unknowns. We are very pleased with the services provided by PHA with this complex project.”
STHS is a regional multi-hospital system owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS). Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, UHS is one of the largest and most innovative healthcare management companies in the nation. STHS is recognized for its reputation of excellence providing quality healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley. As the Valley’s leading hospital system, it offers specialized services in behavioral health, cardiovascular care, emergency medicine, neuroscience, oncology, pediatric care, transplant, women’s services, adult and pediatric rehabilitation. Its facilities include: Edinburg Children’s Hospital, Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Edinburg Regional Rehab Center, McAllen Medical Center, McAllen Heart Hospital, South Texas Behavioral Health Center and Cornerstone Regional Hospital.
About Potomac Health Associates, Inc.
Potomac Health Associates, Inc. is a professional services firm that specializes in federal health care contracting and business development for commercial clients. Since its inception in 1991, the firm has helped its clients win in excess of $400 million in competitive awards from the VA alone, and an estimated $3.75 billion collectively in competitive and non-competitive contract awards from federal agencies.