After EZGovOpps covered the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) decision to move to a Cerner-based Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) announced its intention to issue a contract modification to DOD’s huge $4.3 billion MHS GENESIS EHR contract, in order to incorporate US Coast Guard EHR efforts into their own.
In the announcement on April 6th, the DHA contracting office provided a timeline of developments since MHS GENESIS was awarded in 2015, seemingly to provide background on what led to the decision to include the Coast Guard in the contract. That includes the work by the then-Secretary of the VA to justify the the VA’s planned sole-source, no-bid contract with Cerner, and a report released by the VA on July 1, 2017 which argued that a “single standard solution baseline would benefit both Departments [VA and DOD] and the beneficiaries they support.”
A previous try at a consolidated Coast Guard EHR system began in 2010 with a $14 million award to Epic Systems Corp. for the implementation and maintenance of a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) EHR system which included, among others, integrated dental, optometry, radiology, and patient portal modules. The contract also required training and help desk support for the new system. This EHR effort morphed into a wider project which became known as the Integrated Health Information System (IHiS). However, reported concerns about the rollout of the larger program and other complications led to a cancellation of the Epic contract in 2016. According to FPDS data compiled by EZGovOpps, Epic returned funding for this contract as late as March 2017.
While the VA-Cerner deal is experiencing some amount of uncertainty, the Coast Guard is apparently confident and eager to begin a new EHR transition with DOD.
EZGovOpps does not expect this to be the last major health IT announcement this year, as other Federal efforts focused on health IT like CIO-SP3 SB at NITAAC and GSA’s Health IT SIN on IT Schedule 70 continue to expand.
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