Potomac Health Associates, Inc. (PHA) announced that its client, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, was awarded a contract to provide telemedicine services to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Lexington, Kentucky.
Under this three-year contract, UTMB will initially provide telemedicine consults in cardiology, orthopedic surgery, nephrology, gerontology, rheumatology, urology, emergency medicine and podiatry. Other specialties may be added over time. PHA advised UTMB on all aspects of its technical and price proposals. The award is significant, as requirements initially called for the contractor to be located within the greater metropolitan Lexington area. PHA is credited with developing an innovative negotiating strategy that successfully enabled UTMB to be selected for award, in spite of the fact that it will provide services from it’s telemedicine studios in Galveston, Texas.
UTMB is one of the largest non-profit providers of correctional health services in the U.S., one of the largest providers of telemedicine services, and the largest provider of telemedicine services within correctional settings. UTMB has provided medical consultation to the Texas Prison System since the turn of the century, and its 200-bed facility in Galveston remains the only major medical teaching institution in the United States to specialize in correctional healthcare. It provides comprehensive healthcare services to 120,000 inmates in approximately 80 facilities in Texas, and utilization management to over 34,000 inmates in the State of New York. With close to 10 years worth of telemedicine experience specifically in correctional settings, it has accumulated a track record of almost 60,000 telemedicine consults in some 30 specialties and subspecialties.
UTMB has been a client of PHA’s since 1996. UTMB first retained PHA at that time to advise it in conjunction with its bid for BOP’s health care demonstration project at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas. Under this demonstration–the only one of its kind in the country–UTMB was paid a fixed capitation for all medical care required by some 5,000 inmates of the complex. PHA advised UTMB on various elements of its technical proposal. Since commencing work there, UTMB has performed over 3,000 consults via telemedicine, making UTMB already one of the largest telemedicine providers within BOP. The contract, initially valued at over $30 million, was re-competed in 2001 and re-awarded to UTMB with an estimated value of approximately $40 million.
A leader in the medical applications of telecommunications, UTMB’s telemedicine program is the largest in the United States and serves as a national model. In October of 2002, UTMB was awarded the contract to provide specialty medical services via telemedicine to approximately 3,500 National Science Foundation (NSF) personnel in Antarctica. UTMB physicians provided telemedicine consults to Antarctic doctors and provided consultation for the first surgery performed at South Pole Station this past July.
Potomac Health Associates is a professional services firm that specializes in federal health care contracting and business development for commercial and government clients.