VA panel proposes $1.1B more for $16B Cerner EHR upgrade 

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The Department of Veterans Affairs' 2021 budget may allocate a 12 percent increase in funding for IT modernization, including $1.1 billion more for its $16 billion Cerner EHR implementation, Fedscoop reports. 

The House Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee proposed a $104.8 billion discretionary budget for the VA, according to the July 6 report. The budget proposal is $12.3 billion more than the fiscal year 2020 budget and would approve $4.9 billion for IT modernization, up 12 percent from last year's budget. 

The legislation, which will undergo a subcommittee markup July 7, includes $2.6 billion for the VA's EHR modernization, a $1.1 billion increase in the budget. The extra funding for the EHR program would be applied toward IT infrastructure upgrades and be monitored by the Government Accountability Office to "ensure that the EHR system is implemented in a timely manner," according to the report. 

The 10-year, $16B EHR contract has experienced various implementation delays. Most recently, its spring go-live in Spokane, Wash., was postponed to redirect resources and attention to the VA's COVID-19 response. 

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