$167 Million VA Program Down the Drain

Friday, April 03, 2009

If you’re a veteran and need to schedule a visit to a VA hospital, good luck. After eight years and $167 million, a project by the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a computerized patient-scheduling system has “all but collapsed,” according to an internal memo obtained by NextGov.com. The Replacement Scheduling Application Development Program, begun in 2001, was supposed to be a key part the VA’s new HealtheVet, a medical system providing patient enrollment and scheduling systems, electronic health records, a pharmacy system, and other services. The failed effort follows another $75 million boondoggle (the Scheduling Replacement Project) that also went nowhere. The failures come at a time when the VA is looking at a sharp increase in the number of veterans seeking care at its medical facilities, rising from 400,000 in 2006 to 600,000 in 2008.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


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