Biden’s 2024 Fiscal Budget Request Seeks $1.9B for VA EHR Modernization

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Posted on March 10th, 2023 by Hannah Nelson

The fiscal 2024 budget request asks Congress for additional funding to support the troubled VA EHR modernization project.

The Biden administration’s fiscal 2024 budget request to Congress seeks $1.9 billion in federal IT spending to continue rolling out the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) EHR modernization (EHRM) project.

The budget request notes that modernizing the VA’s EHR will help veterans “receive world-class healthcare well into the future.”

Additionally, the budget request seeks $6.4 billion for the VA’s Office of Information Technology (IT) to continue upgrades to VA IT systems.

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In early May, Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) introduced a bill that would require significant improvement or discontinuation of the VA Oracle Cerner EHR program. Additionally, all facilities would return to using the legacy VistA system.

Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman, co-sponsored the bill.

On January 27, Rep. Bost introduced another bill that would prohibit the VA from implementing the Oracle Cerner EHR platform at additional facilities without the approval of senior clinicians. Both bills have faced opposition from Oracle, which acquired EHR vendor Cerner last year.

Ken Glueck, executive vice president of Oracle, argued that reverting to the legacy VA EHR would take healthcare for veterans backward.

“VistA cannot be made better; it will just be made older, less secure, and more expensive to operate,” Glueck wrote. “Worse, it will deny our veterans the many benefits modern healthcare technology offers.”