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DoD Adds Coast Guard to their Already Enormous Cerner Contract

After a less than successful implementation attempt with Epic, the Coast Guard continued to rely on the old method of paper records as their preferred method of documenting patient data.  In January of this year, Congressman Duncan Hunter sternly urged the Coast Guard to update this practice with all of the technology and ease of use out there.

This story started back in late 2010, when the Coast Guard awarded Epic Systems a 5-year, $14 million contract.  According to Epic, the implementation was approaching the go-live stage, and it was not until April of 2016 that irregularities, and complaints on the physician end, caused a rupture between the Coast Guard, and Epic. During this period, the Coast Guard pulled out of its contract and reverted to using paper to record their patient care.  Epic posted a rebuttal piece on their own blog telling their side of the story.  Needless to say, the end of this story left the Coast Guard back at square one, and (according to publicly available Coast Guard records) down significantly more than the $14m agreed before they had started.

On April 9th, the Coast Guard announced that they would be added the Department of Defense’s (DoD) contract with Leidos to implement Cerner onto their existing Military Health System, GENESIS. Unlike the VA, this contract is an addition to join the MHS GENESIS system rather than starting their own solo-project. The reason for the decision was that nearly 100% of requirements are the same as that of the DoD’s.

Although test sites for the DoD’s rollouts have had some bits of negative feedback (lag times, and difficulty using the system), Program Executive for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems, Stacy Cummings explained that the issues served as a learning experience for both ends and will have already been addressed by the time the Coast Guard has its own rollout.

A notice of intent was filed by the Coast Guard shortly after their announcement and the added cost to the DoD’s contract is expected to be revealed once the letter of intent closes later on this month (expected closing date of April 24th).

For more information on this subject, or to arrange for one of our Healthcare IT Subject Matter Experts to present at a healthcare forum, please contact Bettsy Farias at


Fierce Healthcare
Federal Times
Healthcare IT News – How the Coat Guard’s ugly, Epic EHR break-up played out
Healthcare IT News – Coast Guard to deploy Cerner EHR in DoD partnership
Healthcare IT News – Coast Guard reveals how it will adopt DoD’s $4.3 billion Cerner EHR