Tri-City company awarded $152 million Hanford contract

Hanford workers, shown preparing to remove a highly radioactive spill beneath the 324 Building, face risks from radioactive and hazardous chemicals, plus industrial hazards.
Hanford workers, shown preparing to remove a highly radioactive spill beneath the 324 Building, face risks from radioactive and hazardous chemicals, plus industrial hazards.

The Department of Energy has awarded a Hanford contract valued at up to $152 million to a Kennewick company.

HPM Corp., which is currently the occupational medical contractor for the Hanford nuclear reservation, has won the new Hanford Occupational Medical Services Contract.

It is the first of five major contracts DOE plans to award over the next two years to replace expiring contracts at Hanford.

Under the new seven-year contract, HPM Corp. will provide services to up to 9,000 workers. The seven years includes a transition period of up to 90 days from the current contract to the new one.

Services range from basic first aid to exams to evaluate employees’ injuries and illnesses to set possible work restrictions.

“HPM Corp. has worked diligently over the years to be the Hanford Site occupational medical contractor of choice and best in class across the DOE complex, advocating for workers’ health and well-being,” said chief executive Scott Brodeur. “(It is) highly familiar with the Hanford Site working environment and any potential for impacts to work health and well being.”

HPM’s current Hanford contract for six years, plus extensions totaling five months since Oct. 1, is valued at almost $107 million, up from the $99 million estimated when it was awarded.

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Some of the increased expense of the new contract will cover expanded clinic hours for Hanford workers, said Brodeur, who has been chief executive for HPM Corp. for about a year and a half.

In addition, the number of employees receiving occupational health services under the occupational medicine contract has increased.

HPM Corp. has had a presence at Hanford since 2004, when AdvanceMed was awarded the occupational medicine contract at Hanford, with HPM Corp. as a subcontractor performing about a quarter of the work.

It was then a small start-up founded in 2001 by Hollie Mooers, previously an occupational health services program manager for DOE and a board member of the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.

In 2012 HPM Corp. won the contract to become Hanford’s occupational medical provider, when bidders were restricted to small businesses.

DOE Hanford workers.jpg
Hanford workers face risks from radiation and hazardous chemicals at Hanford, plus industrial hazards.

The latest competition for the occupational medicine contract was not restricted to small businesses.

HPM Corp.’s newly awarded contract is considered a hybrid, because the company’s pay is split among three contracting methods, just like its current contract.

Some pay will be at a fixed price, such as medical exams, first aid, monitoring for chronic beryllium disease, employee wellness programs, some immunizations, ergonomic expertise and drug and alcohol testing.

HPM Corp. will be reimbursed for some costs, such as equipment purchases and repair, X-ray readings and facility costs for a central Hanford health care center and the main clinic in Richland.

The third pay type will be for special projects, with pay to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

HPM Corp. now employs about 125 employees and may add a few additional workers for the longer clinic hours under the new contract, Brodeur said. The new hours its clinics will be open have yet to be announced.

Most of its employees are based in the Tri-Cities, but it also has a NASA contract at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for occupational health services. It has provided health services there for about a decade.

HPM Corp. will be working with two subcontractors that qualify as small businesses under its new contract, Brodeur said.

MPF Federal of Maryland will be providing some medical expertise and Farfield Systems of Florida will provide health information services, such as data quality.

HPM Corp. has not received a publicly released evaluation for fiscal 2018, which ended in September.

In fiscal 2017 it earned almost 92 percent of the available incentive pay, or about $312,000.

DOE said then that it provided “superior worker health and well-being support for the Hanford Site.” The satisfaction of other Hanford contractors and Hanford workers with its services continued to trend upward that year, DOE said.

HPM Corp. will continue to be focused on high quality and cost-effective services, the company said in a statement.

The other major Hanford contracts that DOE plans to award over approximately the next two years include a support services contract, a tank farm contract, a central Hanford cleanup contract and the a 222-S Laboratory contract.

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Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.