The San Diego-based EHR vendor challenging the Department of Veterans Affairs’ decision to award a no-bid contract to Cerner says it will drop the lawsuit if the VA agrees to evaluate the merits of its commercial EHR offering.
The proposed settlement agreement (PDF) provided to FierceHealthcare calls on the VA to run CliniComp’s EHR software through a benchmark test conducted by the General Services Administration’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center to determine whether CliniComp’s platform meets or exceeds baseline interoperability standards outlined by the VA and the Department of Defense.
“If, after making a bona fide assessment of CliniComp’s commercial product, the government information technology experts do not find merit to CliniComp’s solution being cheaper, faster, and better, the matter will be over—no more litigation,” the settlement letter states, adding that Cerner’s solution will cost at least $16 billion and take at least eight years to implement.
However, if CliniComp passes the test, the VA will award the vendor a fully funded “alternative major system” contract.
“As has been the case from the start, all CliniComp has been asking for is a chance to compete,” CliniComp CEO Chris Haudenschild said in a statement to FierceHealthcare, adding that an independent review will allow the company to showcase its product.
Whether VA Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., accepts the offer remains to be seen, but he has repeatedly emphasized the urgency of the Cerner transition. Court documents show that VA officials expect to finalize the contract this month.
Meanwhile, CliniComp has struggled to convince the courts that it could compete for the bid. A federal judge dismissed the vendor’s lawsuit last month, noting that the company has “no comparative experience.” CliniComp quickly appealed the decision, but the VA appears ready to move forward with Cerner regardless of the pending litigation.