Veterans

January 18, 2013

VA deployment of paperless claims processing system underway

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today the nationwide transition to paperless processing of Veterans’ disability claims at its regional benefits processing offices is underway. VA is aggressively building a strong foundation for its new electronic claims processing system, called Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS) – a lasting solution that will transform how VA eliminates the backlog in 2015.

“Our approach to claims processing is being modernized to better serve Veterans and address the complex claims our employees are dealing with every day,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We continue to transform our claims system to be more responsive through new processes and technology, because taking care of our Veterans and their loved ones is our highest priority.”

As of December 2012, 18 VA regional offices have implemented the new system and are beginning to process newly received compensation claims in an entirely digital format. The VA is on track for full deployment of the system to the remaining 38 regional offices in 2013.

“For our Veterans, VBMS will mean faster, higher-quality and more consistent decisions on claims. We recognize that too many Veterans are waiting too long to get the benefits they have earned, and that is unacceptable. This is a decades-old problem, and we are implementing a robust plan to address it,” said Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “For our employees, VBMS will be a more user-friendly system that offers better access to decision-level information, rules-based calculators, and automated tools that help them process claims more consistently.”

This marks a major milestone in VA’s transformation of the processes and systems used to deliver benefits to Veterans, their families, and survivors, even while the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has completed a record-breaking 1 million claims per year the last three fiscal years. Critical to VA’s transformation is ending the reliance on the outmoded paper-intensive processes which prevent timely and accurate claims processing. VA is deploying technology solutions which improve access, drive automation, reduce variance, and enable faster and more efficient operations to eliminate the backlog.

The current backlog of claims is the result of increased demand, over a decade of war with many Veterans returning with severe, complex injuries, and increased outreach to Veterans informing them of their benefits. Secretary Shinseki also made important decisions to recognize medical conditions related to Agent Orange service in Southeast Asia, and to simplify the process to file claims for combat PTSD. These decisions expanded access to benefits for hundreds of thousands of Veterans and brought significantly more claims into the system.

VBMS was pilot-tested at select regional offices between 2010 and 2012, with improvements and greater functionality added to system software releases throughout the testing period. In pilot programs, the new system cut the time to process claims nearly in half. The most recent version of VBMS software allows VA claims representatives to:

  • establish Veterans’ claims entirely in a digital environment as “e-folders,”
  • receive, store, and view Veterans’ submitted claim documents electronically,
  • identify and track the evidence VA needs from beneficiaries and other outside sources,
  • quickly direct claims electronically among regional offices to better match VA’s workload with available workforce capacity.

The system also enables VA claims processors to access online rules-based calculators and drop-down menus to enhance standardization and accuracy of decisions, for both electronic claims and those received by VA in paper form and uploaded into VBMS. Processors will also use VBMS to generate letters to Veterans concerning their claim status and send requests to private physicians for medical records needed to evaluate claims.

When VBMS is combined with VA’s other Transformation initiatives—including improved claims rater training, cross-functional claims handling teams, and prioritized lanes to speed processing based on type of claim—VA will be positioned to meet Secretary Eric K. Shinseki’s priority goal of processing Veterans’ claims in 125 days or less, at 98 percent accuracy, by the end of 2015.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Stopping buffelgrass in its tracks

The Arizona Conservation Corps is removing buffelgrass from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Buffelgrass is an invasive species of grass brought to Arizona from Africa in the 1920s. It was intended to be used as forage food for ca...
 
 

Prior Service program open but strictly limited

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – A very limited number of specialized careers are open in the Air Force Prior Service Program. The prior service program is an enlistment option which allows a select number of people who separated from military active duty, the Guard or Reserve, to enter full-time Air Force service. The number of applicants...
 
 

Air Force researchers test Google Glass for battlefield use

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) – Whether trying to coordinate multiple aircraft in a three-dimensional battlespace, calling in precise close air support or evacuating personnel caught behind enemy lines – effective multitasking is at the heart of the mission for Air Force special operators. Researchers with the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sivan Veazie)

Outdoor Rec shows D-M alternate outlets

The 355th Force Support Squadron provides Airmen a way to get out of the dorms and enjoy the outdoors. “The Outdoor Recreation Center is an alternate outlet to help Airmen and their families, Department of Defense employees a...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)

ERQS PJs honor fallen Airman with a fitness challenge memorial one year later

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS) organized a “Memorial Mash,” in honor of U.S. Air Force pararescueman Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti,...
 
 

D-M, military retirees have $1.47 billion impact on local community

D-M and military retirees circulated approximately $1.47 billion and helped create more than 4,400 jobs in the local area, according to D-M’s Fiscal Year 2013 Economic Impact Analysis, released here April 10. The EIA, an annual publication, is designed to inform the community of personnel assigned or employed at the base; annual payroll of all...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin