HealthData Management: Researchers: Feds must pay for $3B EHR at Indian Health Service

“The federal government has ‘an obligation’ to fund a major healthcare IT modernization program at the Indian Health Service, and the bill will be high.”

“It could cost $3 billion to replace the agency’s legacy electronic health record system, according to an assessment of researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine, writing in a Health Affairs blog.”

“IHS, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, currently uses the Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS), which was developed in close partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to manage its clinical, financial and administrative information.”

“However, according to researchers, ‘years of inattention and underfunding have left the RPMS unusable by current technological standards, making it difficult to provide continuous, consistent care.’”

“President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request for IHS included an initial $25 million EHR investment to begin transitioning to a replacement for RPMS. However, researchers contend that this seed money is woefully inadequate…”

“In particular, they note that a technical evaluation of RPMS found that—as currently configured—the system will be completely unsupportable in 10 years…”

“Cullen and her colleagues cite a budget estimate from the national Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup which recommended a $3 billion, 10-year HIT modernization investment for IHS. They say the cost estimate is consistent with the VA’s $10 billion EHR modernization over 10 years, given that IHS’ patient population is equal to 27 percent of the VA patient population…” Read the full article here.

Source: Researchers: Feds must pay for $3B EHR at Indian Health Service – By Greg Slabodkin, February 3, 2020. HealthData Management.

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