Following Pressure from Tester, VA Announces Reset of Electronic Health Record Modernization Program
VA takes course of action laid out in Chairman’s EHR RESET Act to address system-wide issues on behalf of veterans, VA personnel, and taxpayers
Following sustained pressure from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a program reset to address system-wide issues with the Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program.
“This reset is a step in the right direction and shows that VA is serious about getting this program working for the veterans it serves,” said Tester. “The EHRM system is simply far too important to the future of our veterans’ health care. That’s why I’ll keep pushing VA to implement these much-needed changes and finalize a new contract with Oracle Cerner that better serves veterans, medical professionals, and taxpayers.”
More information on VA’s announcement can be found HERE.
Chairman Tester has consistently fought to increase the effectiveness and ensure the safety of the new EHR system. He demanded transparency from the Trump Administration during the roll-out of the EHRM program in 2020, and has since repeatedly called on VA and Oracle Cerner to fix challenges with the new system before moving forward at other hospitals and clinics. Continuing his efforts at a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing last month, the Senator pushed officials to deliver a new and “more favorable” EHRM contract on behalf of taxpayers and veterans.
Following the hearing, he introduced the EHR RESET Act to deliver a complete overhaul of the EHRM program. This includes provisions to restructure, enhance, and strengthen the entire EHRM program while also mandating aggressive reporting to Congress to increase oversight, accountability, and transparency following a series of challenges with the system and program, including those found in VA’s recent EHRM Sprint Report, a review from the Government Accountability Office, and countless VA Office of Inspector General reports. The legislation also includes provisions requiring VA to aggressively negotiate new contract terms that better protect taxpayers and strengthen performance enforcement mechanisms and penalties while also developing a “Plan B” should the contract negotiations fail or technology continue to underperform.
Last year, Tester also championed the bipartisan, bicameral VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act to increase transparency and oversight of the EHR project and secured a significant provision in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations law to better protect veterans and taxpayers. That law also included Tester’s bipartisan Department of Veterans Affairs Information Technology Reform Act of 2021, which overhauls the planning and oversight for all large VA IT projects.