VA inks $10 billion contract with Cerner for new electronic health recordbut it is not new!
Stars and Stripes
By NIKKI WENTLING
Published: May 17, 2018
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs signed a multibillion-dollar contract on Thursday to replace its antiquated electronic health record system – an action that comes as a relief to veterans and lawmakers who worried it was indefinitely stalled after former VA Secretary David Shulkin was fired in March.
The contract with Kansas City, Mo.-based Cerner Corp. sets a cost ceiling of $10 billion for the next 10 years. In a statement Thursday, acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie described it as “one of the largest [information technology] contracts in the federal government.”
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In February of 2008 this was the "new" news.
VBA's pending compensation and claims backlog stood at 816,211 as of January 2008, up 188,781 since 2004, said Kerry Baker, associate legislative director of the Disabled Veterans of AmericaThen again, soon after this report, out came yet another one about VA claims being shredded and "tens of thousands of claims" were unopened. By May of 2009, the claim backlog was at 915,000
Carl Blake, national legislative director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America, said VBA needed $121 million in its fiscal 2009 budget for its information technology. According to VA budget documents, VBA requested an IT budget of $109.6 million for its compensation and benefits programs, down $23.8 million from $133.4 million in 2008. VA requested an overall 2009 IT budget of $2.53 billion in 2009, up from $2.15 billion in fiscal 2008, with the largest portion earmarked for the Veterans Health Administration.
Oh, but then again, even all that was not new.
Since 1995, the number of veterans enrolled in the VA has risen from approximately 2.9 million to more than 5 million.As always, this could keep going and going, but now you have a better idea of what all the money spent has produced! Do veterans matter or not? Are they more important than the businesses making money off their pain?
The inspector general for the Veterans Affairs Department says that agency managers were aware of serious problems with a $70 million project to replace its hospital appointment system several years before the VA dropped the program.
The VA announced the project in 2000 after complaints from veterans about long waits to make appointments. It was halted this year.
The inspector general says that managers didn't take timely and appropriate action to address problems, even as millions more were put into the program.
After all, the American people do not want to see veterans suffer, so they never look at who is prolonging their agony instead of making their lives better.