Google To Fix Department Of Veterans Affairs?

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Fix Department of Veterans Affairs

Benjamin KrauseGoogle is squaring off against three competitors for a contract to fix Department of Veterans Affairs electronic medical record platform for VA hospitals. Well, the program is actually to help resolve the seemless medical records problem between DoD and VA. Google plans to team up with PricewaterhouseCoopers to bid on the $11 billion Pentagon contract. Part of the contract is to help integrate DoD’s secure platform with VA’s “VistA”.

RELATED: DoD, VA medical record integration debacle, $1bil spent, no plan

But do we really want Google to have our health care data? They already have so much information about all of our search traffic, psychometric information, and behavioral data, should we add our health care and disability data to the mix?

Google would have access to lots of information. Let’s not forget that just a year ago VA Health Administration teamed up with Kaiser Permanente to collaborate on population management research. With Google added to the mix revamping the medical records systems, it seems plausible that a lot of data will be collated very quickly into the hands of very powerful companies.

The four bidders on the program are:

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL  )
  • IBM (NYSE: IBM  ), teamed with privately held Epic Systems
  • an alliance of Cerner (NASDAQ: CERN  ), Accenture (NYSE: ACN  ), and Leidos (NYSE: LDOS  )
  • a team consisting of Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX  ), Computer Sciences  (NYSE: CSC  ) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ).

ModernHealthcare thinks the Google combo will succeed in the bidding war. Here is a little context on how government contracting for these huge tech programs is working out:

According to data from S&P Capital IQ, Google generates a whopping 23% operating profit margin from its operations. That’s a good 2.5 percentage points more than next-most-profitable operator Cerner — and 27 percentage points ahead of Allscripts, where operating profit margins are negative.

So if winning this contract comes down to a bidding war, Google’s got the most room to sacrifice profit margins in order to underprice the competition. Anyone trying to undercut Google’s price may find itself operating at a loss.

There’s also Google’s sheer size to consider and its ability to ramp up rapidly to capture new markets. Three years ago, Google won one of its most significant battles for a government IT contract, beating out Microsoft  (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) for the right to revamp the U.S. Department of the Interior’s email systems with its “Google Apps” software suite. Back then, the win was small potatoes for Google — about $35 million over five years. Since then, however, Google’s abilities in government IT have grown.

Last year, CIO magazine reported that Google and Microsoft were already in a “2-horse race” when it comes to bidding for government cloud computing contracts. Google has rolled out software (“Google Apps for Government”) specifically tailored to government use, won clients in the General Services Administration and National Archives, and underpriced Microsoft’s Office 365 product by about 16%.

Despite the huge pricing benefit from hiring Google, I am somewhat concerned about my private data being misused. Google already knows so much about me including my likes and dislikes.

Do I really want Google knowing all my health history and my disability background? No.

What do you think about Google having immediate access to all your health care data? Does this Department of Veterans Affairs fix sound good to you?

Source: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/02/01/jon-stewart-says-the-veterans-affairs-department-i.aspx

Robert Erhard Sr.
1. The Buffalo Department of Veterans Affairs denied paying compensation and health care as late as December 2013; because the Buffalo DVA claimed that they could not find of government records, to include their own INtraNET , of my service in Vietnam exposed to herbicides (agent orange). However, I found on the INterNET, DVA January 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211): Information on Vietnam Naval Operations…provided presumption of exposure to the crew of ships that operated on “rivers” and… Read more »
Robert Erhard Sr.

I forgot to mention of my posting: feel free : [email protected]

Gordon bishop
SSG Gordon Bishop here, Buddy, I have the same problem with DAV, I sent by regerstered mail to the DAV office in Virginia, my Claim for Agent Orange, I am 100% disabled from Viet Nam, Still after being treated for dieabetes Type II, Had 3 Heart attacks, have 4 stents in upper and lower arteries of heart, I sent the package of my medicalecords to them in OCTOBER 2104, as of today Feb.3,2015 I HAVE NOT GOT A REPLY..Hang in… Read more »
J. Edward Vernon jr.
J. Edward Vernon jr.

Just MUSING, another GOVT. controlled ANALYST. Things can / do get MISPLACED when there is a PROFIT in it.
Why can’t a BOARD OF DIRECTORS composed of Vets review some of these companies that will determine our fate ?

Robert Erhard Sr.
If you read my post just before yours, ” I ” am a victim of what you just said. Also, If the Buffalo DVA has to pay 100% RETRO compensation to (let’s say) as early as 2000, the RETRO would be well over $400,000; that’s why the Buffalo DVA is delaying / denying my claim(s): sent to the Board of Veterans Appeals.; then to, If sanctions are brought against the Buffalo DVA for all of it’s ” TORTS”, also fits… Read more »
MarinesDoc
MarinesDoc
Really bad idea ! So google, a start-up data mining company, funded by the CIA , and of recent purchased Boston Dynamics wants to control all veterans data. This is a match made in hell, with Satan as the bridegroom. This is not surprising to me as an old vet, we are living in the century of 1984, and it’s all about control & assumed power. Thank God I don’t have Facebook. Just wait until Boston Dynamics reveal the million… Read more »
ECLedford
ECLedford

You’ve confused the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. The DoD healthcare proposal has nothing to do with VA.

ECLedford
ECLedford
Kurt Priessman, MSgt, USAF (Ret)
Kurt Priessman, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

Sorry everyone, this is another don’t hold your breath moment. Surprised Michelle Obama’s friends didn’t use their undue influence to snatch the bid.

E.Simmons
E.Simmons

Before I comment on what you said, I would like to see that information showing her involvement, cause if I’m not mistaken congress and the Senate budget committee has to approve it. Show me differently.

Carolyn Fields-Wilkins
Carolyn Fields-Wilkins
The part I am concerned about is what if Google decides to outsource the VA Medical Records and some far away country who when you call, are worst than what we already deal with here? Rudeness will go to, “excuse me, could you repeat that, again, again and again.” Then we will have other countries controlling the claims process. How will that work when the real reason will be the files are truly lost? But where. No, I think Google… Read more »
figure8fan
Carolyn, you have a very good point about this and you bring up something I was not thinking about. Having all of that important and sensitive information that could be just “out there” is a very scary thought. What can we do? you are correct, nothing. Hope and pray it doesn’t happen and that most likely it. Such a shame, we are going to be sold to the highest (or in this case the one who can underbid and still… Read more »
Carolyn Fields-Wilkins
Carolyn Fields-Wilkins
figure8fan, Right now s we speak, I am fighting with Comfort Keepers who sent a young lady into our home to provide services under a Department of Veterans Affairs contract to care for my husband. First the services were to be for 2 hours a day 7 days a week. But rarely could Comfort Keepers provide weekend services. Then one Saturday, two people showed up. One who was the regular person, which would have been easier on my husband with… Read more »
AnAmerican
AnAmerican
This could possibly be the worst case scenario ever dreamed up. 1) EMRs are a disaster. HIPPA is being ignoredd and records are being transferred without permission because it’s too easy. 2) Trying to keep Big Brother and the Holding Company (Goo gle) out of our affairs is already a full time job. When you invite Goo gle into your house through the front , it’s 100% over for all of us. All privacy is GONE. Note: Use Epic Privacy… Read more »
Don
Don

Before VA”s Vista is seemlessly linked with the DoD, Vista has to be improved upon or replaced. There is also the human factor at the VA that has to be improved on.

Raul Rojas Valdez
Raul Rojas Valdez

I think this is a great idea. The exponential powers Google has would only benefit the Archaic VA mentality in a significant manner. This is another example of disruption, when Linear Ideas and business practices, produce lackluster products. This is very exciting, only those that do not comprehend or understand the technology benefits would be fearful of such a marriage. FEAR stands for False Expectations Appearing Real.

DevilDog78
DevilDog78
Do people honestly believe that Google will do something nefarious with VA medical data? Their company motto since day 1 has been “Don’t be evil.” They have revolutionized email, search, maps, and so many other aspects of technology that make life better and easier for millions of people. I have no problem whatsoever with Google being involved, even if they have my personal data. I would trust them 10 times more than I trust the VA, and bringing Google into… Read more »
Robert Mason
Robert Mason

Bad idea. I’m sure that they don’t have any programmers who know MUMPS language. Changing this would be a nightmare. The CPRS is fine. The problem is that it doesn’t talk to VISTA and vice versus.

bd
bd
To be direct, here’s what I think about who should get the contract: Allscripts, Computer Science, HP. Cerner, Accenture, Leidos would also be good except for the inclusion of Leidos, who I don’t trust Cerner and Accenture are good companies – I used to be a consultant for a leading hospital systems company that Cerner bought in 2000. Accenture is good too. IBM and Epic – I don’t care for IBM personally, but doable in this case perhaps. PWH and… Read more »
namnibor
BAD IDEA! I have never been a member of Facebook for very similar reasons…let me touch on that: one of my best friends, a Veteran, had finally won his 100% P&T Svc. Connected Disability after 5 years of fighting because the damn VA kept minimizing his PTSD and his other demons haunting him. He received his back pay and he was an avid Facebook user. Then 6 months later, his VA Psych. told him in matter of words that since… Read more »
MarinesDoc
MarinesDoc

Sorry to hear about your friend, “Robert”. Don`t worry that so-called “head doc” will have to answer to a higher source of real power soon. Most veterans have no idea, what real freedom is…

namnibor
To clarify: My buddy Robert *definitely* had PTSD. That VA Psych simply changed his diagnosis to “ADJUSTMENT DISORDER”, and brought his 100% down to 20% for his physical injuries BUT the VA was starting to demand *their back pay BACK* and imagine they indeed got it back by *other means*…if I were fully aware of the stress he was dealing with internally, I would have at the time, asked him to move-in with me so he would not have been… Read more »
phil bailey
phil bailey

Great! Google can now sell your VA information to the Russian underground and all of the local early release convicts in your neighborhood (now passing one out of five people in California.).

gary
gary

This is just more of Privatizing of Government for the Benefit of those Shareholders in Corporations that are International Entities. There would be no way your Privacy will not be affected. Look at BOOZ ALLEN of NSA fame that let Snowden steal everything in a few days.

namnibor
OMG! I just realized something with my medication-induced dyslexia, that if you look at the name, GEORGE ORWELL…you can take letters from it without using one of them twice, and spell GOOGLE, -coincidence?! Today’s announcement of the *massive* HACK of Anthem/Blue Cross, 80 Million people’s identity affected, imagine if our very adversaries were to hack Google or whomever the VA contracts, or anyone really, why would we think the VA is going to have state of the art security measures… Read more »
Lem
Lem
May be fixed. But who done it? 2/7/2017 I made several calls this AM to VA phone numbers. Not a single wait time on calls. The lady (Patricia I think) at the Office of Communication in the Central Office was very helpful. And surprisingly, I had no wait time on calls to 800 827 1000 or the OIG 800 488 8244. (transferred from OIG) I will now look through all documents with references to other documents and make sure I… Read more »
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