Contracting questions could delay DoD-VA EMR integration by two years

A "potentially unethical" relationship between a federal employee and a government contractor is the reason for the delay of the integration of EMR systems at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the Washington Times reports. That wording comes from an internal DoD memo obtained by the Times.

According to the newspaper, the 16-page report says a Military Health System worker provided a "potentially unfair advantage" to Adara Networks, a Scotts Valley, Calif.-based firm with a contract to provide networking software and hardware for the integration project. The Pentagon stopped the integration in September, a month after conducting an internal review. That review, as FierceEMR has reported, was prompted by a complaint from Maj. Frank Tucker, chief of product development for the Defense Health Information Management System, who said a superior ordered him to give software and related documentation to Adara a few days before the company won a key DoD contract.

The Times, based on the report that it uncovered, names the superior as Tommy Morris, acting director of the Pentagon's Force Health Protection & Readiness programs, and talks of a cozy relationship between Morris and Adara CEO Eric Johnson.

The contracting problem could delay full integration by one to two years and leave the MHS with nothing to show for the $13 million already spent on the effort, according to the Times. The DoD's inspector general continues to investigate, and an Adara spokesman calls the report part of a "smear" by a DoD agency that itself is the subject of an IG investigation.

For more:
- read this Washington Times story