Skip to content Skip to navigation

House Bill Addresses Veterans Affairs EHR and Interoperability

November 16, 2015
by Heather Landi
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

A Department of Veterans Affairs fiscal 2016 appropriations bill that passed the Senate last week, H.R. 2029, included language that addresses the VA’s electronic health record (EHR) system and the progress the agency is making towards interoperability.

As previously reported in a Washington Debrief in Healthcare Infomatics, Congressional leaders are examining efforts by the Department of Defense (DOD) and VA to develop separate electronic health record (EHR) systems to serve active duty and retired military personnel and whether the two systems can be interoperable. Many lawmakers have voiced frustration that the agencies stopped working on a single, joint EHR back in 2013 after spending more than four years and $500 million on the project.

As reported by Politico, the congressional committee is investigating whether the VA should continue with its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) EHR or replace it with a commercial off-the-shelf EHR.

Within H.R. 2029, lawmakers propose that the VA cannot spend more than 25 percent of its funding on IT issues until the Secretary of Veterans Affairs submits to Congress a report outlining a number of updates, such as the status of and changes to the VistA Evolution program, the program’s cost, progress in meeting project milestones and issues related to interoperability.

Specifically, the bill states that the report presented to Congress should include  “the definition being used for interoperability between the electronic health record system of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the metrics to measure the extent of interoperability, the milestones and timeline associated with achieving interoperability, and the baseline measurements associated with interoperability; progress toward developing and implementing all components and levels of interoperability, including semantic interoperability.”




ONC National Coordinator Gets Live Look at Carequality Data Exchange

Officials from Carequality have stated that there are now more than 150,000 clinicians across 11,000 clinics and 500 hospitals live on its network. These participants are also able to share health data records with one another, regardless of technology vendor.

American Red Cross, Teladoc to Provide Telehealth Services to Disaster Victims

The American Red Cross announced a partnership with Teladoc to deliver remote medical care to communities in the United States that are significantly affected by disasters.

Report: The Business of Cybercrime in Healthcare is Growing

While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.

Phishing Attack at Baystate Health Potentially Exposes Data of 13K Patients

A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.

New Use Cases Driving Growth in Health Data Exchange through Direct

In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.

Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.