Federal Times Blogs

VA pilot reduces wait for collecting health records

Bookmark and Share

A recently launched six-month pilot at the Veterans Affairs Department is intended to reduce the time it takes to collect veterans’ health records from private physicians.

VA awarded Virginia-based DOMA Technologies, LLC a six-month, $384,000 contract to aid in collecting records needed to process veterans’ claims for disability benefits.

“We are committed to harnessing the best technology and the brightest minds in the government and private sector to ensure veterans receive the benefits they have earned,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, said in a news release.

Wayne Zinn, DOMA’s chief operating officer, said the pilot is off to a strong start.

More than 60 percent of physicians respond after the first request for records, sometimes the same day, Zinn said.

By hiring the support of a contractor, VA expects to reduce the collection process from an average 40 days to seven or 10 days. This will also allow VA staff to work on “core duties to process claims more quickly,” according the VA news release.

Exploring economical contract support for time savings is one of more than three dozen initiatives supporting VA’s claims transformation plan, which aims to ensure that by 2015, Veterans’ claims are decided within 125 days.

Here’s how it works: Medical records are retrieved by mail, fax or scanned copies and converted into a PDF file that DOMA sends via secure Internet to select regional benefits offices.

The pilot has launched at offices in Phoenix; New York City; St. Louis; Portland, Ore.; Chicago; Anchorage, Ala.; Indianapolis, and Jackson, Miss.

This is one of several initiatives the VA has launched to decide veterans’ claims within 125 days by 2015.

Tags: , , ,