The Department of Veteran’s Affairs said yesterday it approved a $10 billion, 10-year contract with Cerner Corp. (NSDQ:CERN) to implement an electronic health record system, which Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie called one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government.
With the deal, the VA will switch from its internally developed VistA system to off-the-shelf Cerner solutions with the goal of making veteran’s medical history available through a single EHR system.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to improve the health care experience for our nation’s veterans. The VA has a long history of pioneering health care technology innovation, and we look forward to helping deliver high-quality outcomes across the continuum of care. My thanks to the administration for selecting Cerner to collaborate in creating seamless care as service members transition from active duty to VA medical centers and community providers. We expect this program to be a positive catalyst for interoperability across the public and private health care sectors, and we look forward to moving quickly with organizations across the industry to deliver on the promise of this mission,” Cerner prez Zane Burke said in a press release.
The agreement comes after months of delays, with the VA originally announcing plans to transition last year. Interoperability concerns and alleged interference from President Trump and his unofficial advisors had previously held up the deal, according to a Modern Healthcare report.
The contract will give the VA the same EHR platform that has already been adopted by the US Department of Defense, according to a release posted by Acting VA Secretary Wilkie.
“In sum, signing this contract today is an enormous win for our nation’s Veterans. It puts in place a modern IT system that will support the best possible health care for decades to come. That’s exactly what our nation’s heroes deserve,” Wilkie wrote in a note posted by the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.
In January, Cerner said it named Brent Shafer to serve as chairman & CEO effective Feb. 1.