The Veterans Affairs Department has awarded a $624 million contract to Systems Made Simple, Syracuse, N.Y., a subsidiary of giant defense and national security contractor Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., to overhaul its medical appointment scheduling system at its Veterans Health Administration healthcare system.
Epic Systems Corp., Verona, Wis., will supply the software to the VA, the company confirmed.
The award, posted on the FebBizOps.gov website, calls for a base contract of five years with two one-year options.
The new system, called MASS, “is expected to enhance and simplify the viewing and making of appointments convenient to veterans, along with improving the coordination of care and appointment reminders,” according to a brief description of the contract. It will allow clinicians “to better utilize rooms, support staff and equipment in service of veterans' needs.”
The VHA operates 152 hospitals and 990 outpatient clinics nationwide.
The contract comes in the wake of last year's scandal in which VHA employees, in an effort to meet VA performance and bonus pay metrics, falsified records on wait times for veterans to receive clinical care. An internal audit revealed that as many as 57,000 new VA patients seeking appointments faced wait times as long three months.
Lockheed, best known for its missile systems and fighter jets, was a pioneer in the development of health information technology, installing the first computerized physician order entry system in a U.S. hospital, El Camino Hospital, in Mountain View, Calif., in the 1970s.
Last month, the company announced it was teaming up with vendors Intel, Cisco, Cloudera and Montgomery College, Rockville, Md., to form the Lockheed Martin Healthcare Technology Alliance to develop health information technologies for patient care, public health and research.
The VA and Lockheed did not provide someone to discuss the contract by deadline.