VA, HHS Continue to Invest Heavily in Health IT and Telecommunications Services

Phil Goldstein | FedTech | July 11, 2016

Despite budgetary uncertainty, the health agencies are spending to modernize their technology, according to Big Data and analytics firm Govini.

Despite across-the-board federal budget cuts in recent years, the departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs have continued to invest in new health IT and technology services, according to a recent report from Big Data and analytics firm Govini. Further, the report found that the fiscal year 2017 budget outlook for the two health-focused agencies is strong, with the VA and HSS expected to make technology investments geared toward systems modernization, networks and cybersecurity infrastructure.

HHS weathered the federal government’s budget sequestration well, according to Govini, and has kept up with investment in many areas. In particular, HHS’ technology spending has been driven by investments in IT and telecommunications and in professional support. HHS has also been spending on enterprise systems development and virtual data centers, according to Govini’s analysis of HHS contracts. Meanwhile, according to the report, there is a similar story unfolding at the VA, where IT and telecommunications spending grew 60 percent in fiscal year 2015 compared with the agency’s three-year average.

At the VA, growth in IT investment is being fueled by both health IT–related awards under the agency’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) contract vehicle, as well as through purchases of Microsoft enterprise software, according to Govini. Govini notes that “an interesting dynamic common to both agencies is the investment in IT and professional services to manage and support infrastructure modernization, benefits and patient management systems”...