CliniComp sues VA over Cerner contract: 4 things to know

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CliniComp, a San Diego-based EHR provider, filed a lawsuit Aug. 18 against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over the department's decision to tap Cerner for its systemwide EHR in a no-bid contract in June, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

Here are four things to know about the lawsuit.

1. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleges VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, violated federal contracting law by announcing Cerner's contract without first conducting adequate market research.

2. In the past, Dr. Shulkin has referenced the "public interest exception" as reason for the no-bid contract. The exception enables senior officials to award contracts without competition. However, in the lawsuit, CliniComp claimed there is no basis for the exemption in the Cerner case.

3. CliniComp asked the judge to ensure the VA does not award the contract to Cerner until the issue is resolved.

"Nobody disputes the health of veterans needs to be a top priority, and the systems need to be as modern as possible, but to achieve that we need a fair and transparent process when it comes to VA contracts — one that was missing in this case," Chris Haudenschild, CEO of CliniComp, said in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review. "It is especially regrettable there was no competition because we know the transition is expected to take a decade, and cost tens of billions of dollars, yet the VA did no due diligence before moving forward."

4. Oral arguments for the suit are set for Oct. 2.

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