Cerner protests $62M Epic contract at University of Illinois

Cerner has filed a protest against rival Epic Systems winning a $62 million, seven-year contract to implement a new electronic health record (EHR) system at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System in Chicago, saying the bidding process unfairly favored Epic.

According to the Champaign News-Gazette, Cerner said Impact Advisors, the firm hired by the university to evaluate the IT bids, has worked with Epic on similar projects and may stand to benefit by recommending Epic. Impact Advisors countered by saying it’s an independent company and has worked with numerous companies, including Cerner.

Additionally, Cerner’s complaint to the Illinois Chief Procurement Office for Higher Education claimed its bid was $1.5 million lower than Epic’s and it was denied the chance to demonstrate its EHR product, an opportunity that was offered to Epic.

Cerner said about 70 percent of the system’s health records are already one of its products, with a smaller share being handled by an Epic EHR.

The university said its past experiences with Cerner products were part of the reason why it went with Epic.

"We have twice tried to deploy a particular Cerner ambulatory software component and twice had to back it out since it brought the entire Cerner system to a halt,” UI Health said.

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