House Spending Panel Backs Joint Defense-VA Electronic Health Record

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | May 15, 2013

Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday solidly backed development of a single, joint electronic health record for the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments in its preliminary version of VA’s fiscal 2014 spending bill.

The committee provided $344 million in development funds for the integrated electronic health record in fiscal 2014, up $92 million from the $252 million VA requested. The money would come on the condition that no funds be expended on any electronic health record project unless it is an open architecture system that serves both Defense and VA.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a hearing of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on April 17 that he had “deferred” planned Pentagon procurements for a new Defense electronic health record because, “I didn’t think we knew what the hell we were doing." Nextgov reported on April 9 that the Military Health System had scrapped plans to issue requests for proposals for commercial software to beef up its EHR.