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The Australian federal government has terminated a contract with IBM to build the National Authentication Service for Health (NASH), a key security component for the country's national health IT system.
The Australian National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has terminated the $23 million contract with IBM, citing missed deadlines and delays.
NEHTA officials were pressing IBM, and other companies working on the country's health IT modernization efforts, to meet deadlines in July for projected launch dates, which were mostly met.
Now, NEHTA has ended the IBM contract after much of NASH has been built and taken control of it, a spokesperson told Australia's iTnews. "This situation with IBM does not affect consumer access to the e-health record system in any way, and... does not impact healthcare providers from accessing and uploading e-health records.”
The terms of the contract cancellation are not clear. IBM is declining comment pending legal proceedings.
Australia's $466 million health IT investment program includes work being done by Accenture's Oracle and data consultant McKinsey. The Australian has estimated the cost of adoption providers nationwide at about $1.6 billion, in addition to the government investments.