Cerner to add 600 employees in Kansas City headquarters, expects VA contract soon


Cerner is planning to hire an additional 600 employees at its North Kansas City, Mo.-based headquarters with help from reinvested tax breaks, CFO Marc Naughton said during an earnings call Tuesday, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

As part of the GOP tax bill passed in December, Cerner posted an income boost driven mostly by its reevaluated deferred tax liability. Cerner's new tax rate for 2018 will be around 24 percent. The reduction will be be used to fund research and development, including the next phase of its $4.5 billion Innovations Campus and the hiring of 600 local employees to its Works business, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Zane Burke, Cerner president, discussed the company's expected contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was supposed to be awarded at the end of 2017. "We expect the contract to be signed soon," Mr. Burke said. He added Cerner believes its interoperability capabilities are strong enough to meet the VA's requirements, of which the agency is currently reviewing. According to Mr. Naughton, the impact of the contract would be less than expected.

Mr. Burke also called the current eight-week pause in the Department of Defense's MHS Genesis rollout a "planned exercise," according to Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.  

Cerner's fourth quarter bookings recorded an all-time high at $2.33 billion Tuesday.

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