VA launches 12-month cost review of Cerner's $16B EHR rollout

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is hiring an independent contractor to review Cerner's $16 billion EHR rollout and provide an accurate cost estimate, according to an Oct. 7 FedScoop report.

Four details:

  1. Paul Brubaker, deputy CIO of the VA, told lawmakers Oct. 7 at a committee hearing the VA has contracted the Institute for Defense Analysis for a yearlong review.

  2. When Cerner was first contracted to roll out its EHR for the VA, the costs were estimated at $10 billion. However, the VA didn't account for the infrastructure upgrades required to support its IT modernization needs, according to the report.

  3. Mr. Brubaker said that "when the first estimate was scoped, it wasn't scoped adequately," FedScoop reported.

  4. In May, the Office of the Inspector General said the EHR modernization effort had been underestimated between $1 billion and $2.6 billion. The OIG found the VA did not complete an independent cost estimate, as required by VA financial policy. Doing so would have revealed many of the issues discovered during the audit and would have allowed the VA to improve the reliability of its estimates, the OIG said.

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