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NenaLenz

Medical Equipment Purchase Procedures for Veterans

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 ji, what would the basis of the protest be? Seems like the government could use the defense that the contracting officer has the discretion to use competition rather than a sole source brand-name product, if the justification by the Dr. was insufficient or missing.  

 Of course, we don’t know if the government did use competition. They may have simply selected another vendor. The context is pretty sparse. 

Suppose that I could read the entire VAAR...

However, if the doctor isn’t upset enough to do something about it, then I doubt that anyone else will either.

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1 hour ago, joel hoffman said:

if the doctor isn’t upset enough to do something about it, then I doubt that anyone else will either.

What about the patient?  These transactions are for the benefit of the veteran/patient.  What the agent did may not be in the patient's best interest.  This reminds me of the old saw from my time in the Army that "nothings too good for the troops and that's exactly what they will get."

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Because this is a micro-purchase for a COTS product on the VA FSS, there was no requirement for competition if the procurement agent gets a Dr. Rx. My understanding is that the VA Dr and patient saw the product and tested it to make sure of fit and function for the specific needs of the patient. The Rx was sent to purchasing dept. When a product was delivered to patient home, it was an entirely different product.

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From a patient perspective, this is outrageous.  The doctor and patient determined what would be best for the patient.  Yet some medically unqualified bureaucrat may have determined that something else would be appropriate.  These types of acquisition are not your typical procurements where an item is being purchased for the government.  These acquisitions are for the benefit of the patient.  It seems like the VA regs are written with the patient in mind, as they should be.  If a purchasing agent did not follow those rules and substituted his/her judgment for that of the doctor and patient, the VA should take remedial action against the agent.

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I agree with everyone. But it sounds like an internal VA problem and/or between the patient- doctor and the VA contracting personnel. I don’t know how that would provide standing for Nena’s firm or client firm  to “protest” the micro purchase. That’s why I’m recommending resolution between the Dr. and the purchasing office if the patient wants to pursue it.   

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