VA secretary says Cerner EHR rollout might surpass $16B price tag: 5 details

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough recently shared with lawmakers his concerns about the productivity of the VA's Cerner EHR transition and potential of the $16 billion project going over budget, according to a March 29 FedScoop report.

Five details:

1. Mr. McDonough told the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on March 25 he is worried about the VA's rate of spending on the project as well as the number of people needed to deploy the system and scope of what Cerner is being asked to do on a 10-year, $16 billion contract.

2. The VA's plan for spending on the EHR project is that "it will be 'front-loaded' and peak this year," according to the report.

3. The overall program may end up costing more than expected because more people will likely be needed at the go-live, Mr. McDonough said, according to the publication.

4. He added that the rollout at has required more people at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., which went live in October.

5. The VA is also launching a strategic review for the project to ensure the next deployments in the rollout avoid any issues. In a March 19 news release, Mr. McDonough said a strategic review of the modernization program is necessary following the VA's "rigorous review" of its most recent deployment at Mann-Grandstaff.

He added that the VA "remains committed to the Cerner Millennium" EHR and that it "must get this right for Veterans."


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