Price for VA EHR nears $16B

Health Data Management - - WASHINGTON REPORT - —G.S.

The Cerner elec­tronic health record sys­tem the De­part­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs plans to im­ple­ment over 10 years was es­ti­mated to cost a to­tal of $15.8 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to VA data pro­vided to Congress. The VA’s 10-year cost es­ti­mate for the en­tire EHR mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram in­cludes $10 bil­lion for the Cerner con­tract (which was still await­ing a fi­nal de­ci­sion), $4.6 bil­lion for in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments and $1.2 bil­lion for con­trac­tor pro­gram man­age­ment sup­port ser­vices; the VA has al­ready awarded the main con­tract in this cat­e­gory to Booz Allen Hamil­ton. Of the $15.8 bil­lion, the agency says it plans to ask for $10 bil­lion of new ap­pro­pri­a­tions from Congress and to in­ter­nally re­pro­gram $5.8 bil­lion over the 10-year sys­tem im­ple­men­ta­tion pe­riod. But mem­bers of Congress started balk­ing at the costs in­volved in re­plac­ing the agency’s decades-old Veter­ans Health In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems and Tech­nol­ogy Ar­chi­tec­ture (VistA) with Cerner’s Mil­len­nium EHR plat­form. Rep. Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz (D-Fla.), rank­ing mem­ber of the House Mil­i­tary Con­struc­tion and Veter­ans Af­fairs Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Sub­com­mit­tee, noted at a hear­ing that the VA is ask­ing for $1.2 bil­lion in its FY19 bud­get re­quest “to con­tinue the mas­sive im­ple­men­ta­tion, prepa­ra­tion, devel­op­ment, in­ter­face man­age­ment, roll­out and main­te­nance” of the new EHR. She added that proper over­sight must be put in place “to guard against abuses and mis­man­age­ment, which can and do oc­cur in projects of this mag­ni­tude.” In par­tic­u­lar, Wasser­man Schultz voiced con­cerns that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Cerner sys­tem may re­sult in in­creased, costly cus­tomiza­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.