Exclusive: VA moving to close internal VistA security gap

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been working aggressively to eliminate dozens of instances of an internal security vulnerability that could allow individuals with the right set of skills and tools to gain unauthorized access to veterans data, the VA confirmed in an exclusive interview with FedScoop.

VA begins process to remove official at center of FedBid scandal

Less than a week after the Energy Department withdrew an offer of employment to Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration’s deputy chief procurement officer at the center of a procurement scandal involving FedBid, the VA announced Monday it has started the formal process of removing Taylor from her position at the agency.

VA teams with Walgreens on vaccinations, electronic data sharing

A new partnership announced Thursday between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Walgreens — the nation’s largest drugstore chain — will not only provide vaccinations to veterans around the country but will leverage a cloud-based electronic health record infrastructure to share that data directly and securely with the VA.

VA official investigated for fraud loses lucrative DOE gig

The Energy Department has withdrawn an offer to hire Susan Taylor, the Veterans Health Administration’s deputy chief procurement officer, because of an investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general that found Taylor violated numerous federal procurement laws and regulations.

Congressman demands action on VA-FedBid scandal

A prominent Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee is pressuring VA Secretary Bob McDonald to take punitive actions against a former senior procurement officer found to have violated multiple procurement laws and regulations and to examine what the future should be for the contractor at the heart of the scandal.

VA refines scheduling contract timing, sees progress on broad tech front

Stephen Warren, the chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Tuesday a final contract award for a new commercial scheduling system will likely happen in January and not by the end of 2014 as originally planned because of “an extensive amount of industry feedback” received on the system’s performance work statement.

Reverse auctioneer FedBid slammed by VA inspector general

It started out as an investigation into one procurement officer’s interference with a contract review. But before it was over it involved an attempted character “assassination” and “significant measures to disrupt and deprive” the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability “to transact official business honestly and impartially, free from improper and undue influence.”

Critical vulnerabilities discovered in VA business portal

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been working to fix multiple critical security vulnerabilities in one of its major public-facing Web portals that links to a massive database containing personal and financial information on millions of veteran business owners.

Are the keys to interoperable health IT hidden outside the health care field?

Some leading health IT experts say the key to finding new ideas to modernize the health care industry is to not look in the health care industry. So where are those ideas hiding?

NSTIC head Jeremy Grant wants to kill passwords

I may have been a little hasty last week when I predicted that the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace may “never see the light of day,” and this week NSTIC head Jeremy Grant let me know it.

NSTIC is moving forward, but does it even have a chance?

How would the implementation of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace actually work, or could it even work?

New VA secretary sets sights on major agency reforms

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald outlined for the first time Monday his strategic vision for a new, efficient and innovative VA. The bottom line: Today’s VA is too complex, too hierarchical and needs to be flipped on its head.

VA forming Digital Service Team, recruiting experts

The Department of Veterans Affairs is actively recruiting a cadre of top-level developers, designers and digital product managers to form a new Digital Service Team to create and re-design the digital interfaces that veterans and the private sector rely upon to interact with the agency.

VA planning aggressive replacement of scheduling system

The Veterans Affairs Department plans to complete proposal evaluations and award a contract for a commercial patient scheduling system by the end of the year, the VA official in charge of the program told FedScoop.

VA finds no evidence linking veteran deaths to wait list scandal

Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs used paper waiting lists and manipulated electronic scheduling data at as many as 93 VA medical facilities across the country, but investigators found no conclusive evidence that the resulting delays in care caused any veteran deaths at the VA’s hospital in Phoenix.

Pentagon issues RFP to modernize electronic health records

The Defense Department released a long-awaited request for proposals Monday for its multi-billion dollar effort to replace its aging health record systems and enhance interoperability with private health care providers and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

EXCLUSIVE: VA’s CIO Stephen Warren on serving veterans

In his first interview since a scandal involving secret waiting lists forced a change of leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Stephen Warren, VA’s chief information officer, offers a candid assessment of the agency’s past and future technology plans.

Chuck Hagel and the secret war over DOD & VA electronic health records

Some of the original developers of the Department of Veterans Affairs electronic health record system, known as VistA, credit Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel with championing the pioneering EHR effort in 1982 and helping it become a reality. Now, more than 30 years later, the Defense Department has rejected VistA as a viable EHR option and is about to spend billions on a new system. What happened?

7 things Congress doesn’t understand about VA’s scheduling system

President Barack Obama signed a $16.3 billion reform bill Thursday designed to drastically overhaul the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs by improving access to medical care for veterans and preventing unscrupulous VA employees from gaming the scheduling system.

VA reform bill heads to POTUS’ desk, but what about IT?

The VA reform bill provides funding to expand health care capacity and calls for an independent review of VA operation, including VA’s IT systems.

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