WASHINGTON, D.C. – Serving his second term on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Congressman Matt Rosendale (MT-02) was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization. This subcommittee has legislative, oversight, and investigative jurisdiction over the Department of Veterans’ Affairs enterprise technology modernization programs and projects, including the Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program, enterprise information technology governance, cybersecurity matters, and data management.
“I’m honored to serve veterans as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization,” said Rep. Rosendale. “As the son and brother of military veterans, I’m committed to ensuring that the VA’s technology meets the standard of care that our nation’s heroes deserve.”
Rep. Rosendale’s first piece of legislation as Chairman, the Department of Veterans Affairs Electronic Health Record Modernization Termination Act, seeks to end the Oracle Cerner EHR system.
“The Oracle Cerner electronic health record program is deeply flawed – causing issues for medical staff and posing significant patient safety risks,” said Rep. Rosendale. “We cannot continue to further implement this inadequate system at the expense of billions of dollars in government funding. We must hold the VA to the high standard of care promised to our veterans and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs has implemented the Oracle Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system at five of 171 medical centers since 2018, expending roughly $5 billion. Last year, an independent life cycle cost estimate found that the cost to implement the system had more than doubled, from $16.1 billion over ten years to between $33.6 and $38.9 billion over 13 years. Additionally, VA acknowledges that the new system has created unacceptable levels of productivity losses, patient safety risks, and staff burnout at these five small and medium-sized facilities.
The VA Electronic Health Record Modernization Termination Act would, within 180 days, abolish the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, transfer remaining activities to the Veterans Health Administration or Office of Information and Technology, revert all medical centers using the Oracle Cerner EHR to VA’s existing EHR platform: the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), and gradually wind down the Oracle Cerner contract by preventing the Secretary from exercising any options on Oracle Cerner’s contract.