Healthcare in the United States is a trillion dollar industry and represents a major segment of the nation’s economy. Healthcare is imperative to every citizen’s well being and there is much to consider when it comes to guaranteeing everyone has access to all types of medical treatment and medications. Through research and technological advancements, the healthcare industry has come a long way in how patients are treated and the services and facilities they have access to. One city that has been a leader in pushing the science and study of healthcare forward is Boston, Massachusetts. Home to some of the nation’s top hospitals and universities, Boston is ranked as one of the best cities in the world for medical treatment and research.
Boston has been the center of many medical firsts and innovation: the city was the first to see human-organ transplant;[i] the first to use anesthesia in surgical procedures; the smallpox vaccine was discovered in Boston,[ii] and the city is host to innovative cancer research and treatment initiatives. Boston is home to:
- 25 hospitals and 20 community health centers
- Over 46,000 scientists and researchers
- Over 21,000 students enrolled at institutions or hospitals
- Over 18% of total employment is within healthcare
- Over 12,000 jobs are in life sciences, research, development and manufacturing
- Over 120 health IT and digital health companies
(Source: Healthcare and Life Sciences. Industry Snapshot. 25 Jul. 2018. City of Boston. 03 Dec. 2018)
Compared with other US cities, institutions based in Boston have received the most annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for more than 20 years, with most of the grants going to MassGen, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dana-Farber also runs the largest cancer clinical trial program in the US.i
Bidding with the City
To do business with the city of Boston and to find healthcare-related bids, register on the city’s Online Supplier Portal. You can do so as an individual or as a business. Once registered, you will receive a username and password and can sign up to receive email notifications about bid opportunities based on your preferences. The online portal allows you to search for bids and submit bid proposals.
Smaller projects that are estimated to be worth from $10,000 to $50,000 allow the agency to request written bids from three different vendors and a standard contract is not required. Any project worth over $50,000 will be advertised to the public and does require a standard contract.
All bids are advertised in the City Record, where a list of bid opportunities is published every Monday. The city publishes four types of bids:
- Invitation for Bid (IFB): Open and competitive bid process, the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder.
- Request for Proposal (RFP): Requires more information along with the proposed price, typically specifications of how the job will be performed.
- Request for Information (RFI): Requires more information about a project, such as specifications, price, and materials needed. This helps the agency decide on how to proceed with an IFB or RFP.
- Emergency bids: no formal bid required, suppliers are hired based on emergency situations or if the vendor is the only one who can provide the product or services.
Bids can be submitted three different ways: through the portal, by mail or in person, but must all be delivered to the agency at the specified date and time stated in the bid package. There are instances where the bids are paper-copy only; this requires the vendor to either pick up the bid package in person or request it to be mailed to them. Bids will then be submitted by mail or in person.
Vendors may also contact agency departments directly to provide information about the products or services they sell.
(Source: Contracting with the City. 4 Dec. 2017. City of Boston. 4 Dec. 2018)
Healthcare Bid Opportunities in Boston
There are many types of bids available for vendors in the healthcare industry, including providing consultations, supplying equipment and medical devices, providing laboratory services, maintenance and repair on medical equipment, and providing pharmaceuticals and physician services. Some bid opportunities available in Boston for healthcare have included:
- Physician in Occupational Medicine
- Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Cure Research Program
School-Based Health Center Program
- Pharmacy On-Line Processing System
Radiation Detection Equipment for the BFD
- NALAXONE/ ATOMIZERS (VCD)
Independent Living Equipment and Devices
- Invasive Hemoglobin Testing Machines/Supplies
- Health Care Consultant
- Quality Measurement Support for MassHealth Managed Care Programs
To find these types of bids or other healthcare opportunities, it is a good idea to sign up for the city’s bid notifications. Keep in mind however that the healthcare industry is massive in scope and there may be many bids published that are not relevant to your business One solution to narrow down the number of bid opportunities you need to evaluate is to use a bid intelligence company that can provide you with daily notifications with bid opportunities that are targeted specifically to what sell. This way, you’ll receive only those bids that are relevant to your business, allowing you to make a quick and informed decision on which bids you’re interested in.
Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com
[i] S.P. Edwards. Boston Hospitals: Curing Disease, Improving Lives. 2012. Harvard Magazine. 03 Dec. 2018
[ii] N.p. Top Reasons Why Boston is the Leader in Medical Care. Boston Magazine. 03 Dec. 2018