​Opinion(s): How much is that EHR in the window?

VA replacement of legacy EHR could cost as much as $16B – June 22 2017, By Greg Slabodkin, Health Data Management

“The Department of Veterans Affairs needs Congress to fund VA’s IT modernization to keep its legacy systems from failing and to replace its decades-old electronic health records system.

VA officials this month announced that they plan to replace the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) with the same commercial off-the-shelf EHR from Cerner that the Department of Defense is currently implementing.

“This will ultimately put all patient data in one shared system, enabling seamless care between VA and DoD without the manual and electronic exchange and reconciliation of data that we currently do in our separate systems,” VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, testified on Wednesday before a Senate appropriations subcommittee…”

G2X TAKE: The health technology community is fascinated with discussing the potential price tag on a new EHR at VA. Understandably, Congress wants answers before they sign on the dotted line. VA is quiet.

The $16B figure mentioned in the article above that is being attributed to former VA CIO Roger Baker is understood to have been provided at a different time and under different circumstances. The conversation taking place here in this VistA Hard Hats google group provides one seemingly knowledgeable person’s understanding of what played into the $16B figure and some fun math about what this might really cost.

There is clearly a lot to work through before VA is going to name a price and a measured approach is the right course of action. In the meantime that won’t stop Congress from asking and the media and industry from speculating

What’s your estimate? Can the VA really put a price tag on it as this point? What is the best way for the VA to handle this? Comment below. Note: You will need to be logged in. 

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