American Military News – In a Thursday decision, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to implement new interconnected medical records system for migrants, ahead of efforts to implement those same medical systems for U.S. military veterans.
The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol officials to implement an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, and store and report electronic health records to Congress for all migrants apprehended at the border, according to The Hill.
“The Veterans Administration (VA) will not have similar electronic health records systems in place for nine years and the Department of Defense (DOD) will not have those systems for another five years,” Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) said in a press release following the vote.
“When I was at the border I saw busy, overworked Border Patrol officials having to keep health records on paper. I also saw how these records don’t follow migrants between facilities and transfers of custody,” the bill’s sponsor, Freshman congresswoman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL), said before the House floor vote.
Critics of the bill pointed out that those same busy Border Patrol agents would have to implement the EHR system within a timeframe of months, whereas similar efforts to implement EHR systems in the Department of Defense and hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs which together will take 10 years and $25 billion to implement …
House Republicans proposed an amendment to implement the same rollout of medical records system standards for veterans, but the effort was struck down … Read more.