June 27, 2014

Cerner is going after a huge government contract

The company is partnering with Leidos and Accenture Federal Services to bid on an estimated $11 billion, 10-year contract to install an electronic health records system for the Defense Department’s 56 hospitals and 360 clinics. It faces strong competition to win the contract, which includes upgrades for Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Cerner Corp. has allied with Leidos and Accenture Federal Services to bid on an estimated $11 billion contract to upgrade the U.S. Defense Department’s electronic health records system.

There’s a lot of competition for the 10-year contract, which would cover 56 hospitals and about 360 clinics serving the U.S. military and its dependents. It would include work for Veterans Affairs facilities.

The Cerner alliance, as reported Friday by Modern Healthcare magazine, is competing with a previously announced joint effort by IBM Corp. and Cerner’s largest electronic health records competitor, Epic Systems Corp.

Earlier this week, another electronic health records company, Allscripts, announced an alliance with Computer Sciences Corp. and Hewlett-Packard to compete for the contract.

The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments last year ended a joint plan to develop an electronic health records system that would serve both systems. Instead, requests for proposals were issued for an “off the shelf” electronic records system from commercial providers.

Kate O’Neill Rauber, a Cerner spokeswoman, said the North Kansas City company’s goal is to provide a “highly interoperable” system “built on modern and open architecture.”

A contract is expected to be awarded in 2015.

Cerner’s partners in the contract bid have experience in federal contracting. Leidos, based in Reston, Va., was spun off earlier this year from Science Applications International Corp., an entity that has worked with the VA since 1988 on its hospital computer system.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to

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