WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) – the ranking member and chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) – introduced legislation to increase transparency surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program.
This summer, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) released three reports that raised concerns surrounding the deployment of the EHRM program. Two of the reports raised issues with cost estimates and reporting. The VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act would hold the VA accountable and increase transparency by requiring the VA Secretary to submit periodic reports to Congress regarding the costs, performance metrics and outcomes for EHRM.
“The VA, and consequently our nation, has invested a great deal of time and money into the VA Electronic Health Record Modernization program,” said Sen. Moran. “The potential benefits of this program are tremendous, but we have to get it right. This legislation ensures the VA is providing the proper transparency throughout the EHRM implementation to better allow this committee to conduct oversight during the deployment process to ensure veterans receive the care they deserve and hold the VA accountable for taxpayer dollars.”
“As Chairman, I remain laser-focused on making sure the VA electronic health record project delivers real value to Department medical staff and the veterans they serve,” said Sen. Tester. “This commonsense bill is part of our ongoing push to increase accountability and transparency of this new program, and I thank Ranking Member Moran for working with me to ensure we hit the mark on behalf of veterans and taxpayers.”
Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), along with Mike Braun (R-Ind.), cosponsored the legislation.
Following the release of the third VA OIG report earlier this year, Sen. Moran released a statement available here. Sens. Moran and Tester also held a hearing titled, “VA Electronic Health Records: Modernization and the Path Ahead” with VA Secretary Denis McDonough.
U.S. Representatives Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Frank J. Mrvan (D-Ind.) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the full chamber last month. Bill text of H.R. 4591, the VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act of 2021, can be found here.
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