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House Republicans Make the Case for High Standards and Accountability in VA Electronic Health Record Modernization

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Chairman Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), and Rep. Mike Carey (R-Ohio), released the following statements after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced last week that Oracle and the Department “have agreed to an extension of the contract for 1 month to allow the current negotiations to continue,” that VA “remain[s] committed to holding Oracle Health accountable to take the necessary actions to resolve ongoing challenges with deployment of the Federal Electronic Health Record (EHR),” and is “working hard toward an optimized contract that serves and protects Veterans, VA providers, and taxpayers alike.”


“The VA medical centers that are using the Oracle Health electronic health record have been turned upside down. We’ve heard it in oversight hearings, during briefings, from veterans, and VA’s dedicated doctors and nurses across the country. Congress must do our part, on behalf of the taxpayers and veterans VA serves, to continue to hold Oracle and VA accountable to get this right,” said Chairman Bost and Technology Modernization Chairman Rosendale. “The EHR RESET Act, which is included in the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act, is the right bill to ensure the system has truly improved. Without transparent, enforceable standards backed up by reliable data as the bill would require, a deeply flawed EHR may be forced into more VA facilities, wasting billions more taxpayer dollars and threatening to harm more veterans. This risks perpetuating the dangerous situation that has existed in Washington, Oregon, and Ohio across the country. We can’t – and won’t – allow that to happen.”


Since the Oracle Health EHR system was first implemented at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington in October 2020, it has disrupted care, undermined patient safety, and devasted morale. These problems multiplied when the system was introduced at VA facilities in Walla Walla, Washington; Columbus, Ohio; White City, Oregon; and Roseburg, Oregon in 2021 and 2022. It has even contributed to patient deaths, leading VA to pause the rollout in October 2022 and commence an ongoing “Reset” effort in April 2023. In March 2024, VA and the Department of Defense installed the Oracle Health EHR system at their joint medical center in North Chicago, Illinois. Since VA awarded the original EHR Modernization contract to Cerner Corp. in May 2018, the project has completed 6 of 171VA medical centers, or 4%, and obligated approximately $10 billion of its $16 billion budget. An independent life cycle cost estimate by the Institute for Defense Analysis in 2022 exceeds $50 billion.


“The electronic health record system first rolled out at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane has been a complete failure. Veterans in Eastern Washington are tired of being the guinea pigs for a system that should be delivering the best care our country has to offer, not causing serious harm to patients and devastating provider morale,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “This cannot be the new normal, which is why I’ve repeatedly called for the system to be terminated immediately, but we also cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The EHR RESET Act is a final warning to Oracle Cerner – either fix your deeply flawed system or your time’s up. This legislation is a critical step towards delivering the effective, long-term solution our veterans and medical centers need and deserve.”


Our veterans have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we as Americans enjoy every day, and it is our duty to ensure they receive the benefits they were promised when they agreed to serve,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The rollout of the Oracle Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system was nothing short of disastrous for our veterans. Requiring the Veterans Health Administration to modernize the new EHR before rolling it out at other VA sites is the bare minimum. Congress must uphold its promise to our veterans by ensuring the VA fulfills their end of the bargain. I am proud to join Chairman Bost on an issue that I have long been fighting for and will continue to support our veterans in Congress to ensure they receive the benefits they have earned.”


“It’s our responsibility to ensure veterans are taken care of when they return to civilian life. They risked their lives in service to our nation and deserve unobstructed access to the quality care they have earned,” said Rep. Balderson.


“Our veterans devote their lives in service to this country; they deserve the highest possible quality of care. As a veteran myself, patient care is and will always be the number-one priority,” said Rep. Carey.



H.R. 8371, the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act includes the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Program Restructure, Enhance, Strengthen, and Empower Technology (RESET) Act of 2024. The EHR RESET Act is a bipartisan, bicameral compromise negotiated with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to inject accountability into the troubled Oracle Health EHR rollout. The EHR RESET Act would authorize the project and spell out its objectives for the first time, increase oversight of the Oracle Health system’s impact on health care quality and patient safety, require VA to demonstrate that the facilities already using the system have recovered to normal operational levels and if, after two years, they still not recovered and met VA’s own performance metrics, the bill would require the project to be restructured under a new contract.

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