It Will Cost You About $5 Billion to Maintain the VA’s Old EMR

Yes, you read the title right. Here is the info:

It will cost the Veterans Affairs Department at least $4.89 billion to maintain its current electronic health record system during its Cerner transition, a VA official told lawmakers Thursday.

The VA currently uses a homegrown EHR called VistA, which agency programmers and clinicians developed in the 1970s. Now, under a $10 billion contract that the VA inked with Cerner last year, the agency plans to transition to a Cerner EHR, bringing its first sites live on the new system in 2020.

This is our government at work. But you can trust them with your money right?

The VA previously said that VistA cost the agency $2.3 billion from 2015 to 2017, however, this figure is “neither reliable nor comprehensive,” said Carol Harris, director for IT acquisition management at the GAO. That’s partially because costs related to VistA’s infrastructure and personnel were not well-documented, according to a report the GAO released Thursday.

The VA also didn’t include some hosting and data-standardization costs in the $2.3 billion estimate, suggesting the actual figure is higher.

Oh….My….God. Can they be more incompetent. But, yeah, let’s use these people to run a single-payer government system. That will work.

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