Judge tosses out VA Cerner lawsuit: 4 things to know

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

A Court of Federal Claims judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that involved the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' no-bid contract with Cerner as its systemwide EHR.

Here are four things to know.

1. San Diego-based EHR provider CliniComp filed the lawsuit Aug. 18 against the VA, alleging its no-bid contract with Cerner, announced in June, violated federal contracting law since the agency failed to conduct adequate market research. Cerner joined the VA as a defendant.

2. CliniComp asked the judge to ensure the VA does not award the contract to Cerner until the issue is resolved.

"Nobody disputes the health of veterans needs to be a top priority, and the systems need to be as modern as possible, but to achieve that we need a fair and transparent process when it comes to VA contracts — one that was missing in this case," Chris Haudenschild, CEO of CliniComp, said in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review in August. "It is especially regrettable there was no competition because we know the transition is expected to take a decade, and cost tens of billions of dollars, yet the VA did no due diligence before moving forward."

3. VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, who is reportedly one of President Donald Trump's top picks for HHS secretary, used a "public interest exception" that allows senior officials to make sole-source purchases without open competition, according to Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

4. The decision, which remains under seal, was granted dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.

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