Health Care Reform for Veterans at Last

Health care reform has been far overdue for our veterans. For 40 years, the system has remained unchanged, becoming increasingly more difficult for those leaving the military service to transition into civilian life, receive proper medical care and gain access to their medical records from their time in the service. Trump has long stated the veteran health care system was in desperate need of modernizing and proposed for the two systems, the Veterans Affairs (the VA) and The Defense Department, to merge in a non-competitive agreement.

According to the Military Times, a contract for the VA’s electronic records for veterans has been finalized with the Missouri-based Cerner Corp., a medical technology systems company. Cerner Corp is set to merge the VA’s electronic medical records with the Defense Department Systems, thus uniting veterans and military personnel. The new system will begin to allow the VA to share patient data through a secure system with the Defense Department.

The transition is predicted to span over a multi-year period, costing multi-billions in the process. The cost has worried White House officials as to if the new system was worthy of the expense and could even handle the task, but all doubts have been debunked and the process is already in motion. The transfer of VA records to the same MHS GENESIS records system the Defense Department uses could take roughly a decade, and the system is already being installed in a handful of military health facilities.

The new system will be “one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government,” according to acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. The merge will “provide seamless care to veterans as they transition from the military service to civilian life.”

Sparking change? This movement could potentially motivate a drastic change for the American health care as a whole, potentially providing a guide for sharing medical records across all health care systems.

MFN 53 (05/30/2018)

Source: Military Times, VA finalizes contract to bring electronic health records in line with military systems, May 17, 2018

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