Cerner and the VA

There have been a lot of headaches with Cerner’s new digital health program for the VA. A recent report blasted the program.

While the report is new, the story isn’t. Cerner said they’re addressing the problems. The story is getting extra attention because the project has been supported by Jared Kushner.

The project’s price tag and political sensitivity — it was designed to address nagging problems with military and veteran health care at a cost of about $20 billion over the next decade — means it is “just another ‘too big to fail’ program,” the tester said. “The end result everyone is familiar with — years and years of delays and many billions spent trying to fix the mess.”

The unclassified findings could further delay a related VA contract with Cerner Corp., the digital health records company that began installing the military’s system in February 2017. The VA last year chose Cerner as its vendor, with the belief that sharing the same system would facilitate the exchange of health records when troops left the service. The military program, called MHS Genesis, was approved in 2015 under President Barack Obama.

In a briefing with reporters late Friday, Pentagon officials said they had made many improvements to the pilot at four bases in the Pacific Northwest since the study team ended its review in November.

To be fair, the problems don’t appear to originate with Cerner, by rather an antiquated government system. Fixing this turns out to be a bigger issue than people expected. Shares of Cerner are down about 2% today.