The Veterans Affairs Department says it will begin deployment of a new electronic health record at three sites in the Pacific Northwest in October, and the system will be implemented at those sites by March 2020.
The Pentagon says it’s seen progress since the department’s independent testing office found the military’s electronic health record system is not “operationally suitable.”
The House Veterans Affairs Committee also signed off on a clear oversight process for VA’s electronic health record modernization project, plus several other pieces of new legislation.
Before her retirement, Vivieca Wright Simpson had been with VA for 32 years. Peter O’Rourke, the director of VA’s new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, will serve as VA’s permanent chief of staff going forward.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday he would reimburse the U.S. Treasury for his wife’s travel expenses and instead wanted to turn attention back to veterans issues. VA is requesting a $12 billion budget increase for 2019.
Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) is advocating for an audit of the VA it’s important to make sure money and resources are being applied in the most effective manner.
The House has included an additional $2.1 billion for the Veterans Choice Program in a continuing resolution, which would extend funding for civilian agencies through Jan. 19, 2018.
The Veterans Affairs Department is expected to run out of funding in the VA Choice Program by the end of 2017. VA Secretary David Shulkin called on lawmakers to find some solution by year-end, even if it’s a temporary one.
Details on funding for the new program are still largely unclear. VA, however, believes administrative changes to the current Veterans Choice Program will save billions of dollars over 10 years.
House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) said the legislation he recently introduced that sets up a BRAC-style commission to review medical facilities at the Veterans Affairs Department marks the beginning of a long conversation on the topic.