Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said Wednesday afternoon that the VA has reached a 10-year, $10 billion contract with Cerner Corp. to update the VA’s electronic health record system.
The deal calls for the North Kansas City-based company to use the same platform as the one it’s implementing for the Department of Defense so that the two giant agencies’ record systems can “talk” to one another. Cerner secured the defense department contract, worth more than $4 billion, in 2015.
President Trump’s firing of VA Secretary David Shulkin in March had left the status of the VA deal up in the air. Shulkin had awarded a no-bid contract to Cerner in March 2016, but the agreement had yet to be finalized.
“This is one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government, with a ceiling of $10 billion over 10 years,” Wilkie said in a statement. “And with a contract of that size, you can understand why former Secretary Shulkin and I took some extra time to do our due diligence and make sure the contract does what the President wanted.”
Wilkie said Congress has already appropriated $782 million for the contract.
Cerner President Zane Burke said in a statement that Cerner was honored to have the opportunity to serve the nation’s veterans.
“The VA has a long history of pioneering health care technology innovation, and we look forward to helping deliver high-quality outcomes across the continuum of care,” Burke said.
Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.