Cerner could snag another big VA contract

Dec. 28, 2018

The Kansas City Business Journal reports, Cerner could be close to securing another multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for its Millennium Scheduling package.

The VA is leaning toward terminating its 2015 contract with Epic and Leidos for a $624 million patient scheduling system, according to Politico.

A Cerner spokeswoman said the company couldn’t offer any updates at this time on the potential new contract.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-IN, chairman of the House VA subcommittee on technology modernization, urged the agency to decide which program it plans to implement.

In a Dec. 14 letter to VA acting Deputy Secretary James Byrne, Banks wrote, “It’s my understanding that VA will be complying with the requirement of H.Rpt. 115-929 and announcing a decision as to how the nationwide implementation of a modernized medical scheduling system will be accelerated.”

“While all available information indicates VA’s pilot of the Epic Cadence scheduling system in Columbus, Ohio has been successful, my understanding based on testimony from and conversations with Department leaders is that VA’s preference is to implement the Cerner Millennium scheduling package, because it has either already been purchased or a commitment has been made to purchase it,” Banks wrote in the letter.

Banks requested information about how the scheduling system’s resource-based capabilities will be used to increase efficiency, reduce wait times and make better use of healthcare resources.

The VA already has tapped the North Kansas City-based health IT company for an initial $10 billion contract. Since the contract was awarded in May, cost estimates have grown to $16.1 billion—primarily because the VA failed to budget for government employees.

The VA chose to implement a commercial electronic health record as part of an effort to abandon its homegrown VistA system and establish interoperability with the U.S. Department of Defense, which uses a Cerner platform to support its MHS Genesis EHR.

Kansas City Business Journal has the full article