Paul Brubaker, deputy chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), said that VA has enlisted the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) to help calculate the potential life cycle cost of VA's program to implement a new electronic health records (EHR) system, FedScoop reported Thursday.
Brubaker informed House Veterans Affairs Committee members about IDA's upcoming work for the department Thursday at a congressional hearing and he expects the process will take 12 months to complete.
The independent review of VA's EHR modernization spending comes after its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) raised concerns over the accuracy of initial cost estimates for information technology infrastructure updates associated with the program.
VA awarded health technology maker Cerner a 10-year, $10 billion contract in May 2018 to help implement a new commercial platform for processing and sharing medical records.
The department projected total program cost would reach $16.1 billion, but the OIG audit found that it did not meet estimate reliability standards for the IT-related upgrade work.
Brubaker told lawmakers that the VA will establish processes to better manage IT investments and increase accountability and transparency.