Myhealthevet screengrab

Health IT

Is the end of My HealtheVet near?

The My HealtheVet tool used by more than 3 million veterans to access care and data at the Department of Veterans Affairs could be retired in favor of a tool from vendor Cerner as part of the agency's $16 billion electronic health record software upgrade.

"I can confirm that that is an ongoing discussion," John Windom, executive director of the VA's Office of Electronic Health Records Modernization (OEHRM), said in a Sept. 30 House hearing.

VA approved a task order to deploy a Cerner tool called MyVAHealth for use in facilities using the Cerner Millennium electronic health record, which has an initial rollout coming soon, and will be implemented nationwide on a rolling schedule over the next 10 years, replacing VA's Vista health record.

Windom told lawmakers on the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization of the House Veterans Affairs Committee that Cerner's patient portal is going to be running in tandem with MyHealtheVet as part of the go-live activity at the Mann-Grandstaff facility in Spokane scheduled for Oct. 24. The move affects 88,000 patients, who will have option to use Cerner's portal or the VA tool.

"I have major concerns about the parallel operation of two different veteran facing portals," subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.) said in her opening remarks.

Windom explained that the replacement of MyHealtheVet "is not in the scope" of the Cerner contract.

"We are not funded to replace MyHealtheVet," he said. "We have estimates in order to make modification to MyHealtheVet as being discussed, and they range from $60 million to $300 million. That's not in scope."

Additionally, the systems aren't meant to run in parallel with veterans offered a choice of which one to access, Dr. Laura Kroupa, the chief medical officer of OEHRM, said. Veterans getting care and service in Spokane will be defaulted to the Cerner portal when they click on a link from the VA.gov homepage; everyone else will go to the MyHealtheVet portal.

Travis Dalton, president of Cerner Government Services, told lawmakers that the company was "agnostic" about whether it uses its own portal for the VA health record or if it integrates MyHealtheVet through application programming interfaces.

"We're not focused on a solution set from Cerner necessarily for the veteran," Dalton said. "I think alternatives long term are still being evaluated."

Reader comments

Wed, May 12, 2021 William M Yattaw California

I just got my Healthevet updated and now they may be scrubbing it for a new system can someone explain why this necessary?

Tue, Jan 5, 2021 Ray Mead WA

I have been plagued by VA and their self-centric, rather than veteran-centric, (poor)decisions most of my adult life. Finally, they have a system that actually works. As a result, they just have to tweak it until it breaks and leaves the veterans, it is supposed to serve, 20 years in the past. Once again we must telephone in our prescription refill requests, requests for appointments, our questions, and each and every little thing that was all easily handled by the MyHealthyVet web site. Classic VA non-sense. Whatever can be done for veterans by the VA is done, just not necessarily at a benefit to them. Generally, it is at their expense and at their loss. If I had known when I joined those many years ago just how I would be treated much later I might have rethought the whole thing.

Sat, Oct 17, 2020 Goop

Agreed, Dave. More money poured into something that's already (and finally) pretty convenient. Make sure you have those updated physical medical records folks- and prepare for the ride that will last the next 15 years plus.

Tue, Oct 6, 2020 Big Dave

Naturally, Just when they have most of the bugs worked out on MyHealthEVet, they dump it for a new, untested and probably flawed system.

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