Oracle announced Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire Cerner, the key technology provider behind the electronic health record modernization (EHRM) program at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The cloud provider will acquire Cerner for $28.3 billion in an all-cash deal, news of which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Oracle’s acquisition of Cerner comes as the EHR modernization program at the Department of Veterans Affairs has received scrutiny following major cost overruns and safety concerns.
Following the deal, Cerner will become a dedicated industry business unit within Oracle.
“Oracle and Cerner are committed to continued and enhanced stewardship of health information, which will be bolstered by Oracle’s global operational infrastructure,” the companies said in a joint statement.
The companies added that the transaction will improve the availability of technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning to customers and that the goal is to deliver zero unplanned downtime for Cerner systems running on Oracle’s Gen2 cloud.
Cerner’s Millennium platform makes up the backbone of the VA’s EHR modernization program, which has so far risen in cost to $16 billion — a 60% increase from the $10 billion initially budgeted for the project.
Commenting on the transaction, Cerner president and CEO David Feinberg said: “Cerner. “Joining Oracle as a dedicated Industry Business Unit provides an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate our work modernizing electronic health records (EHR), improving the caregiver experience, and enabling more connected, high-quality and efficient patient care.”
Earlier this month, Reps. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced new legislation that is intended to improve transparency around the program.