Thursday, February 22, 2024

Nextgov: House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Reform VA’s EHR Program

A coalition of House Democrats and Republicans introduced legislation this week to improve the deployment of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new Oracle Cerner electronic health record system, marking the first bipartisan effort of the 118th Congress to address oversight concerns with the multi-billion dollar modernization program’s rollout.

The bill is the House companion of the EHR Program RESET Act, legislation introduced last month by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. It was formally introduced on April 24 by Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif.—ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee—and Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.—who chairs the panel—along with eight bipartisan co-sponsors…

Under the proposal, VA would also be required to ensure that the five medical facilities currently using the Oracle Cerner software meet or exceed certain performance baselines before the EHR system is deployed at any additional sites. If VA and Oracle Cerner are not able to meet the outlined requirements—which would be set by VA’s Office of Information and Technology and the VHA—then the bill directs the department “to consider terminating or canceling the current contract and requires VA to provide an alternative plan for a solution.”

The legislation also includes the text from Takano’s Department of Veterans Affairs IT Modernization Improvement Act, which would require VA to “enter into a contract for the independent verification and validation of certain modernization efforts,” including the EHR system’s rollout… Read the full article here.

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