Holding the VA Accountable, Sinema Backs Bipartisan Bill to Modernize Electronic Health Records

Dec 14, 2021

Sinema-backed bipartisan legislation ensures VA accurately reports performance metrics, following VA’s failure in reporting incomplete and inadequate cost estimates

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored bipartisan, bicameral legislation holding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable in reporting accurate estimates of health records modernization.
“Arizona taxpayers expect the VA to accurately estimate the costs and effectiveness of the VA’s new electronic health record, and Arizona veterans expect the VA will deliver a system that positively impacts their care. We’ll keep holding the VA accountable to ensure Arizona veterans get the care and benefits they’ve earned,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Chair of the Senate’s Government Operations Subcommittee.
In 2021, VA’s Office of Inspector General highlighted VA’s failure—as required by law—to conduct reliable cost estimates for the Electronic Health Record Modernization program to Congress. VA’s failure impedes Congress from having a full and accurate picture of the cost and scale of efforts to modernize information technology and physical infrastructure at VA medical centers.
The Sinema-backed bipartisan legislation addresses these issues by increasing transparency by requiring the VA to report to Congress on all costs across the Veterans Health Administration, VA’s Office of Information and Technology, and any other VA programs for any cost amount used on Electronic Health Record Modernization. This bipartisan bill will allow Congress to better determine whether the Electronic Health Record Modernization program is delivering improvements to veteran health care, accounting for VA’s operational efficiency, and addressing patient safety issues.