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Report: House Representatives Announce Subcommittee for Veterans Affairs IT Modernization

Representatives Phil Roe, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Tim Walz, D-Minn., a ranking committee member, have announced a new subcommittee to oversee the VA’s technology update initiatives, Nextgov reported Tuesday.

Robert Wilkie, former VA acting secretary, revealed in May that the department tapped Cerner for a potential 10-year, 10-billion contract to implement an electronic health record platform the company developed with Accenture and Leidos for the Defense Department.

Roe detailed in a Tuesday hearing that the subcommittee intends to have three to five members overseeing the EHR deployment, with additional information to be issued after a July 12th full committee meeting.

The VA anticipates to further invest up to $6 billion for infrastructure updates to support the exchange of patient data with the DoD and community health care providers, the publication said.

Peter O’Rourke, acting VA secretary, told hearing attendees the department intends to employ five functional groups to govern the program management office, which will aim for an incremental and flexible deployment of the EHR platform.

Rourke added that the department expects to validate the platform’s initial operational status from July to September and to start deployment by March 2020, with legacy systems including VistA continuing to provide support until then.

The hearing for Wilkie’s confirmation as VA secretary will be conducted Wednesday.

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