CSC Reaches Tentative Deal With U.K. Health System for EHR Project

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Virginia-based Computer Sciences Corporation has signed a nonbinding letter of intent with the United Kingdom's National Health Service outlining steps to move forward with an electronic health record project, the Wall Street Journal reports (Rubin, Wall Street Journal, 3/5).

Background

In September 2011, U.K. officials announced plans to dismantle the country's £11 billion [about $17.4 billion] plan to build a national health IT network.

Officials said that some of the £6.4 billion [about $10.1 billion] spent on the health IT project was wasted and that the National Programme for Health IT, which launched in 2002, "is not fit to provide the modern IT services" that NHS needs.

In October 2011, A group of shareholders -- led by the Canada-based Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan -- filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against CSC, claiming the contractor "fraudulently concealed that it was incapable of delivering" on its 10-year contract with NHS  (iHealthBeat, 10/6/11).

Details of Nonbinding Letter of Intent

Under the nonbinding letter of intent, certain NHS trusts would receive health IT software from CSC. NHS would provide a certain amount of funding for the base software and extra funding for "additional products, supplemental trust activity and local configuration."

In a statement, CSC said the letter of intent "reflects a new approach, moving toward a construct of more localized initiatives, reflecting the shift to more devolved decision making and budgetary control within NHS."

According to CSC, March 31 is the deadline to reach a binding interim agreement. The binding deal would serve as the basis for revising CSC's previous health IT contract with NHS (Evans, Modern Healthcare, 3/5).

U.K. officials are expected to see the agreement with CSC as a way to help reduce taxpayers' costs by about £1 billion [about $1.6 billion], according to the London Telegraph (Winnett, London Telegraph, 3/5).

Michael Milne
Lets see a contract for $17 billion deep sixed after spending $10 billion of it. And the work done is basically thrown away, maybe saving a few code parts, and then the NHS contracts with the same guys, CSC, and agrees to a cut rate deal to "save some money" by paying for those left over code parts. These guys at the HNS must be smoking some powerful stuff and the sales guys at CSC must have the keys to hades in their pockets. Any takers on a bet 5 or 6 years from now we read about another effort by CSC and NHS to dave taxpayers money by spending 15 times what is saved.

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