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Federal Judge Dismisses Case Over VA Cerner EHR Contract

A federal court dismissed CliniComp’s case against VA over the Cerner EHR contract for “lack of jurisdiction.”

Cerner EHR

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by San Diego-based health IT company CliniComp to overturn the VA decision to select Cerner Corporation as its commercial EHR provider.

CliniComp sued the federal government in August for awarding Cerner the VA EHR contract without a competitive bidding process.

Court of Federal Claims Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby dismissed the case in an October 18 decision that is under seal. However, a publicly available document revealed the case was thrown out by the Washington, DC court due to lack of jurisdiction.

Lawyers defending VA in the case stated CliniComp is a recent entrant to the EHR market and therefore “unable to supply a comprehensive enterprise-wide electronic health record system to the VA.”

CliniComp plans to appeal the decision.

“We respectfully disagree with the judge's decision to not rule on the merits of the case,” stated CliniComp CEO Chris Haudenschild told FCW. “We will appeal this decision, because the health of millions of veterans and billions of taxpayer dollars is at stake. CliniComp simply wants the chance to prove that it can do the job cheaper, faster, and better."

CliniComp initially filed the bid this summer claiming VA Secretary David Shulkin should have had enough time to conduct a competitive bidding process, and any perceived lack of time to do is the fault of VA.

“In the six or eight months to negotiate a sole source contract with Cerner, the VA could hold an accelerated full and open competition for the next generation [system],” the company stated. “Since the next generation system is high-risk and because multiple award development contracts are a proven means to reduce risks, the failure of Secretary Shulkin’s decision to consider prudent risk reduction renders the sole source decision unreliable.”

VA awarded the EHR contract to Cerner in June. The decision was based on internal and external feedback and prioritized the need for interoperability between VA and the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD currently operates on a Cerner platform similar to the system VA intends to implement.

The new VA EHR system will be a commercial EHR designed to integrated easily with DoD’s EHR platform. VA also aims to ensure interoperability with the private sector.  

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