Shulkin: 2024 may be earliest VA could implement Cerner

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Although it may only take 18 months for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to roll out the Cerner EHR once the contract is finalized, it will take another seven to eight years for the VA to fully transition away from its legacy VistA system, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, told the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Tuesday.

Although the total cost of the project has yet to be released, estimates have been around $18 billion. A contract is expected to be finalized in early November.

The VA also sought out information last week regarding how to best achieve interoperability with community providers, Dr. Shulkin said, explaining the department wants to expand its Veteran's Choice Program.

He added the VA gave "Congress a 30-day notification of our intent to negotiate a contract that would give us the true interoperability with the Department of the Defense."

Last week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a San Diego-based EHR provider that alleged the VA's no-bid contract with Cerner violated government contracting law since the agency failed to conduct adequate market research.  

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