CMS issues RFI for handheld initiative

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a request for information (RFI) from vendors regarding technology requirements for a proposed plan which would enable it to send messages to physicians and other healthcare providers that can be received using a handheld device.
   
CMS said it also is attempting to identify sources with the ability to reach a large number of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and other healthcare providers involved in directly treating patients. The source should have the technology, software and resources necessary to: send messages to the targeted provider audiences so that the messages will be received when the healthcare provider is providing care to the patient; target specific specialties or geographic locations at the request of CMS; provide up-to-date information on the number of healthcare providers and types of healthcare providers reached with each message; track the number of messages sent to the providers and how many providers received the message; and develop the requested messages.  
   
CMS estimates that one to two messages per month will be sent to the targeted provider audience. The messages may include important Medicare news, information on the Medicare Drug Benefit or information on other new Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 provisions. CMS said the information will often assist providers in helping their patients know how to get more information on Medicare programs outside of the fee-for-service program via 1-800-Medicare or Medicare.gov beneficiary resources.  
   
All messages and communication must be accessible by a variety of platforms, CMS said. Sources should be able to convert word and PDF articles into formats that can be sent, opened, stored and read on a variety of handheld devices. CMS also is interested in other existing mechanisms that can be used to reach healthcare providers at the time they are providing care.
   
CMS is requesting that vendors provide a response to Theresa Schultz at tschultz@cms.hhs.gov in Microsoft Word format.