How Many Billions for the New Defense EHR?

A case of spending billions to save spending even more billions.

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments in February ditched plans to develop an integrated electronic health record due to costs, which had soared to $28 billion, according to new testimony from Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Instead of a joint record, VA will enhance its VistA EHR and Defense will run acquisitions to replace its AHLTA and CHCS in-patient and battlefield EHRs, Kendall said Wednesday.

AHLTA has cost a total of $1.9 billion, according to the federal IT dashboard, and SAIC developed CHCS under a $1 billion contract.  Cost info for the in-patient and battlefield systems is hard to find, but together they probably costs close to a billion.

Based on the above, I would estimate it will cost the Pentagon between $3 billion and $4 billion to acquire new replacement systems. I guess this is a case where Defense will spend billions to save spending even more billions.