The release date for VistA-Office has slipped for a third time. Due to a review by the secretary's office of HHS, the release is delayed indefinitely.

[Dr. Karen Bell, division director of
the Quality Improvement Group at HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services] declined to speculate on what HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt
would decide about releasing VistA-Office.

Although doctors will not have to pay to download VistA-Office when it
becomes available, few doctors have the technical expertise and time to
install the system and get it running. Most users are likely to hire
consultants to help with the installation, officials have said, so they
will incur some costs.

You can read previous posts, where VistA-Office is free, and then not free. The good news is that the software that may now never be released will be free.

[Hat tip: iHealthBeat]


In conjunction with the imminent release of VistA-Office Electronic
Health Record (EHR) software to the public domain by the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), DSS, Inc., today unveiled a
special website, offering support to physician offices and other
healthcare organizations wishing to implement and use the highly
regarded electronic health record system. The new website,,
is dedicated to providing guidance to anyone installing VistA in a
hospital or VistA-Office EHR in a physician office, which is available
online, free of charge from CMS.

When I tried it, web site refused the connection.

In other news, VersaForm fills the vacuum left by the government with the offer of a free EMR for physicians.