WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced the VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act of 2021 to increase transparency surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program. The bipartisan bill holds the VA accountable and increases transparency by requiring the VA Secretary to submit periodic reports to Congress regarding the costs, performance metrics and outcomes for EHRM.
“A modern healthcare system requires effective electronic health records which are transparent and accessible to patients,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This is true of your community hospital. It should be true of the VA hospital.”
“The VA, and consequently our nation, has invested a great deal of time and money into the VA Electronic Health Record Modernization program,” said Senator 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.”
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.
In addition to Cassidy and Moran, the bill was cosponsored by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mike Braun (R-IN).
U.S. Representatives Mark Takano (D-CA-41), Mike Bost (R-IL-12) and Frank J. Mrvan (D-IN-01) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the full chamber last month.
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