Veterans Affairs

VA is already using AI to identify and assist veterans in crisis, officials say

The use of AI capabilities to review the agency’s surveys to veterans has helped save a couple thousand lives and helped another couple thousand retired servicemembers receive housing, according to VA’s chief veterans experience officer.

Proposed deep cuts to VA’s tech budget rankle lawmakers

The Biden administration’s FY25 budget request for the Department of Veterans Affairs proposes steep cuts to the agency’s IT services, including a 99% reduction in VA’s development initiatives from FY24.

Lawmakers propose more scrutiny of VA's new EHR, reauthorize VET-TEC program

The bipartisan legislative package includes new oversight metrics for VA’s Oracle Cerner electronic health record system but would end the modernization effort if facilities using the software don’t show improvement.

VA’s AI model to prevent suicides is a 'game changer,' official says

The REACH-VET program identifies roughly 6,700 retired servicemembers per month, according to a top lawmaker.

Senators call for VA to tighten performance standards in new health records contract

Three lawmakers on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee are calling for the department to “add accountability and oversight provisions” in a renegotiated one-year contract with Oracle Cerner.

Change Healthcare hasn't given VA details on hack-impacted veterans, top lawmaker says

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said the company has “impact attestations” on those affected but won’t provide them to VA.

VA is warning veterans about Change Healthcare cyberattack, secretary says

“There’s no confirmation yet” that veterans’ data was leaked by the ransomware attack, according to the VA secretary, but the department is proactively alerting millions of veterans and beneficiaries to be safe. 

Change Healthcare attack did not result in harm to veteran care, VA says

The Department of Veterans Affairs said the ransomware attack impacted just over 40,000 veterans’ prescription orders but that it moved to quickly fill the requests.

DOD’s new EHR faces low user satisfaction and integration challenges, watchdog finds

A GAO report found that “integration opportunities remain” at the joint DOD and VA rollout of their modernized EHR systems at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center last month.

VA cautiously optimistic that ‘very positive’ March EHR rollout shows reset is working

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said the department plans to restart deployments of its new health records system in FY25. 

Lawmakers to include VET-TEC renewal under broader veteran bill, per committee spokesperson

VA’s five-year tech training pilot expired April 1 after Congress failed to pass legislation to renew the program.

T4NG2 protests grow to 14 with more possible

A dozen companies have gone to the court with questions over how the Veterans Affairs Department evaluated proposals for the $61 billion technology modernization contract vehicle.

VA plans to restart EHR deployments before the end of FY25, secretary says

Despite VA’s fiscal year 2025 budget request not allocating any money toward the deployment of its new EHR at additional medical facilities, VA Secretary Denis McDonough said it has “existing money” that will be made available to resume system rollouts.

VA not sharing details on supply chain upgrade, Republican lawmaker says

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., who heads a House subcommittee focused on tech at Veterans Affairs, said “there does not seem to be any approved budget” for the new supply chain system, which the department estimates to cost between $9 billion and $15 billion.

VA officials tout EHR rollout at Chicago site amid efforts to address oversight concerns

Although implementation of VA’s EHR system at additional sites remains paused, a critical rollout of the software at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center earlier this month was “the most successful deployment we’ve had,” VA Undersecretary for Health Shereef Elnahal said.

Issues with VA’s new EHR have contributed to patient harms and one death, watchdog says

Three new reports from VA’s Office of Inspector General detail problems with the pharmacy module and scheduling service of the Oracle Cerner EHR system that made it difficult to reschedule medical appointments and effectively track veterans’ prescriptions.

Biden budget cuts funding for health record refresh amid ongoing program 'reset'

VA’s proposed FY25 budget includes zero funding for future deployments of its new electronic health record system and allocates no additional funds for assessing rollouts at other sites.