Another partnership has thrown its hat into the Pentagon electronic health record procurement ring bidding. On Tuesday, Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) announced that it will join forces with Allscripts and Hewlett Packard (HP) to pursue the coveted Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) contract to replace and modernize its EHR system.
"Together with our teammates, we will deliver a solution that improves care of military beneficiaries and keeps our fighting force strong and fit," CSC Chief Medical Officer Robert Wah said in the announcement. Wah, a former deputy coordinator at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, is the new president of the American Medical Association. "We intend to provide to military members and their families the same outstanding service that they deliver to our nation on a regular basis," he said.
The Defense Department (DoD) has not yet issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the project, which could amount to $11 billion. It has published three draft RFPs since January, indicating that it intends to rely on off the shelf technology and industry standards. The last draft RFP was released June 12. The DoD will accept questions and comments until July 2.
Epic and IBM announced plans to vie for the contract together earlier this month.
The CSC-Allscripts-HP announcement, like the Epic-IBM announcement, does not address concerns that Congress and other stakeholders have about the inability of the DoD EHR system and the Veterans Affairs Department's EHR system to share data. The two agencies abandoned that project in 2013, to the dismay of many legislators.
The U.S. House of Representatives last month withheld much of the VA's funding to upgrade its EHR system; it's likely that the House will do the same to the DoD's budget. Much of the blame for the lack of collaboration has been placed on the DoD's unwillingness to adopt the VA's established VistA system.