CliniComp offers to drop lawsuit if VA conducts 'bona fide' assessment of its EHR

CliniComp, a San Diego-based EHR provider, offered to enter into a settlement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs if the agency agrees to a review of the company's EHR, according to a Nov. 13 proposed settlement agreement obtained by Becker's Hospital Review.

CliniComp sued the VA after the agency tapped Cerner for its systemwide EHR in a no-bid contract in June. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Aug. 18, alleges VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, violated federal contracting law by announcing Cerner's contract without first conducting adequate market research.

A Court of Federal Claims judge dismissed the lawsuit Oct. 18. In an unsealed decision, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby said CliniComp lacked the experience necessary to compete for the VA contract, according to FCW. However, CliniComp officials have attempted to appeal the decision.

"We respectfully disagree with the judge's decision to not rule on the merits of the case," Chris Haudenschild, company founder, CEO and chairman of the board, told FCW in October via email. "We will appeal this decision, because the health of millions of veterans and billions of taxpayer dollars is at stake."

Under the proposed settlement agreement, CliniComp officials requested the U.S. General Services Administration's Federal Systems Integration and Management Center conduct a benchmark test to determine whether CliniComp's commercial EHR product meets the necessary level of interoperability.

The benchmark test "will provide CliniComp with a bona fide opportunity to demonstrate to the VA … that its advanced technology can achieve a high level of interoperability between VA and [U.S. Department of Defense] EHRs," according to the proposed settlement agreement.

CliniComp officials said it would dismiss its appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit with prejudice if the VA executes the settlement agreement.

"As has been the case from the start, all CliniComp has been asking for is a chance to compete," Mr. Haudenschild said in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review Nov. 15. "With this step, we're asking for a free-to-taxpayers chance to prove our capabilities to the government, putting it in the hands of the non-partisan GSA to judge our technology and ultimately give us the opportunity to showcase what we know can be delivered cheaper, faster and better than the alternative."

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