Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging VA’s decision to implement Cerner; CliniComp vows to appeal

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CliniComp's plans to appeal a federal judge's dismissal contesting the VA's no-bid selection of Cerner.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit contesting the Department of Veterans Affairs’ no-bid decision to implement Cerner as its EHR platform.

A judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissed the case last week, according to court documents. Although Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby’s opinion remains under seal, the judgment (PDF), entered by a court clerk on Thursday, indicates she granted motions by the VA and Cerner to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.

The lawsuit, filed by San Diego-based EHR developer CliniComp in August, categorized VA Secretary David Shulkin’s decision to use Cerner as a replacement for VistA as “arbitrary,” adding that Shulkin’s decision to forgo open competition for the bid “lacks a reasonable basis.”

RELATED: EHR vendor CliniComp sues VA over no-bid contract with Cerner to replace VistA

In June, Shulkin said he chose to bypass the open bid process based on an urgent need to modernize the medical records system.

The VA—along with Cerner, which quickly intervened in the case—argued that CliniComp has not demonstrated that its platform is comprehensive enough to win a VA bid, calling the vendor a “minor player in the electronic health record industry.” Furthermore, both Cerner and the VA said CliniComp failed to show why Shulkin’s decision was unjustified or illegal.

“We’re pleased with the decision, which remains under seal,” Cerner spokesperson Dan Smith said in an email to FierceHealthcare. “We and our partners look forward to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to serve our nation's veterans.”

In a statement to FierceHealthcare, CliniComp CEO Chris Haudenschild said the company plans to appeal the decision “because the health of millions of veterans and billions of taxpayer dollars is at stake.”

“CliniComp simply wants the chance to prove that it can do the job cheaper, faster and better,” he added.