Oracle Cerner's $156K penalty for VA EHR outages under scrutiny

Oracle Cerner's penalty charge, imposed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the number of outages the system has experienced, has come under fire from Rep. Matt Rosendale, FedScoop reported Sept. 20. 

At a House hearing Sept. 20, Mr. Rosendale, the ranking member on the House VA Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, questioned the $156,750 penalty charge the VA imposed on Oracle Cerner. He contrasted it with the number of outages that have occurred since the rollout of the EHR system.

"Why has the VA only withheld $156,750 for Cerner's failure to meet the service level agreement for the system up time? Do you think it's a fair penalty for over 44 days of outages, degradations and losses of functionality," Mr. Rosendale said. 

Mr. Rosendale was referring to the 498 disruptions the VA has experienced since Oracle Cerner began installing the EHR system in the fall of 2020, according to the report. 

Michael Parrish, chief acquisition officer of the VA, responded by saying the failures of Oracle Cerner would "not be tolerated in the private sector." 

Mr. Rosendale has asked the VA to provide a total amount of money the organization has withheld from Oracle Cerner due to the EHR system's outages. 

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