Cerner acquires AbleVets, helping fine-tune its IT offerings for the federal space

The consultancy, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, has experience working with the DoD, VA and government healthcare clients and specializes in cybersecurity, agile engineering and more.
By Mike Miliard
02:06 PM

Cerner announced Friday that it will acquire IT consulting firm AbleVets, making it a wholly owned subsidiary that can help advance Cerner's work with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs – and elsewhere across the federal sector.

WHY IT MATTERS
Cerner says the acquisition of the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy – which specializes in strategy for engineering, cybersecurity, cloud hosting and system development for civil and defense health agencies including the DoD, VA and HHS – will help it continue to scale up its offerings for the federal space, offering specific technical expertise for designing and implementing federal modernization projects.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter, the companies said.

AbleVets was founded as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business by Dr. Wyatt Smith, who served as an oncologist in the Navy. Its 350 employees, many of whom are veterans themselves, specialize in the unique needs of federal health clients, helping them implement IT modernization efforts more quickly and efficiently at a lower cost.

THE LARGER TREND
Back in 2015, Healthcare IT News ran a feature story exploring the unique perspective and expertise that veterans can bring to public and private sector health technology clients, particularly in areas such as infrastructure and infosec.

"There are a lot of vets that are getting out of the service now with tremendous training in either information security or cybersecurity that are going to be looking for jobs," said Mac McMillan, then CEO (and now CEO emeritus) of CynergisTek, who served in the Marines. "If I were a health system and I were looking for a good quality ISO with a lot to give, and a lot of discipline and a lot of motivation and know-how, I'd be hiring a vet."

Cerner, meanwhile, even as it continues its twin EHR modernization projects at the DoD and VA, has had a busy few months. Among its recent news: a new cognitive platform in the works, a 10-year pop health deal with Geisinger, a new collaboration on price transparency and a major new partnership with Amazon Web Services.

ON THE RECORD
"AbleVets has been a trusted partner to Cerner and is providing critical support to our federal programs," said Travis Dalton, president of Cerner Government Services. "Integrating the team into our business is a natural next step of our relationship. We expect AbleVets’ technical expertise and execution in solving complex problems will accelerate Cerner’s success in providing integrated, seamless care for Veterans, Service members and their families."

"I launched AbleVets to deliver health IT solutions that improve Veteran health," said Smith. "By working with Cerner over the past year, we’ve been able to make important strides in laying the groundwork on our shared mission to transform care for those who served our country. By combining AbleVets’ strategic and technical expertise in the federal space with Cerner’s global scale, technology and innovation, we can expand our collective reach, accelerate developments and make the greatest impact on improving outcomes across the care continuum."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.