Cerner-VA contract update: Rollout will span 48 waves & 4 more things to know

The Department of Veterans Affairs contract with EHR vendor Cerner has been in the works since June 2017, and it's still not finalized.

Here are five updates on the contract.

1. In an investor presentation at the annual Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society conference, Cerner said the VA will go live in 48 waves beginning in the fourth quarter of next year, Politico Morning eHealth newsletter reports. It will start with pilot sites and continue to rollout at other locations through 2027. Go-lives at the Department of Defense, which has been in the process of transitioning to Cerner since February 2017, are scheduling 23 waves through 2022.

2. Rep. Phil Roe, MD, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, told Stars and Stripes VA providers will have easy access to at least five years of past medical data, as opposed to the DOD, which has to depend on its Joint Legacy Viewer to access prior health records.

3. VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, said he is considering making the VA healthcare system an opt-out system for veteran patients EHR sharing, according to Politico.

4. At HIMSS, Dr. Shulkin asked healthcare providers to commit to openly sharing data with VA providers. Eleven health systems have signed the pledge so far.

5. Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner told Politico the EHR giant does not plan to challenge the deal. "We've never challenged anything," she said. "We don't do that. We feel it's the customer's right to pick whatever they want."

More articles on EHRs:
Reminder: Deadline to submit eCQM data, attest to meaningful use is March 16
Cerner implementation sparks delays at Connecticut health system
4 legal questions on sharing EHR data with public health agencies, answered

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