Healthcare IT News: Can Epic count on its $624 million contract for VA scheduling system work?

HealthcareITNews, Can Epic count on its $624 million contract for VA scheduling system work?, By Bernie Monegain, June 07, 2017

“Verona, Wisconsin-based healthcare technology giant Epic Systems is in the midst of developing a medical appointment and scheduling system for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

But, with its rival Cerner having won two major military contracts recently – one from the Department of Defense and another coming from Veterans Affairs, it raises the question: Will it affect the VA work Epic has underway? It’s hard to tell.

Epic landed the five-year VA contract to build a scheduling system from scratch in 2015.

Already, the Epic work for the VA has suffered a year of lost time, not through the vendor’s fault, but because the VA cancelled the work, saying it would fix its existing program instead. However, the VA resumed its work with Epic a year later.

Epic had been working on the medical appointments and scheduling project with Systems Made Simple, which at the time was a subsidiary of government contractor Lockheed Martin. Systems Made Simple has since been acquired by Leidos, Cerner’s main partner on military contracts.

The June 5 announcement by Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin that the VA had selected Cerner and Leidos to develop its EHR system. The Department of Defense work on a new EHR system is already underway with the same vendors.

The VA did not solicit bids for the VA work, and whether Epic would have bid, Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner has not said.

Shulkin did not reference the appointment and scheduling work underway with Epic when he announced the department’s choice of Cerner and Leidos for the VA system EHR…”

G2X TAKE: This Healthcare IT news article is one of the first of what promises to be many articles, conversations and analysis efforts undertaken as technology vendors and service providers examine the near and long-term downstream impacts associated with the Cerner decision.

At this week’s FedHealthIT Innovation Awards, G2X team members heard from many small and large business executives who stated that their growth and delivery units had already held strategy meetings to discuss the potential impact to their business as they pivot, work to better understand, project and position for emerging areas of need at VA. 

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