Veterans

February 8, 2013

Lawmakers fault plan for veterans’ health records

Kevin Freking
Associated Press

Congressional leaders overseeing veterans’ issues criticized Feb. 6 a decision by the Obama administration to move away from building a new computer system for storing the health records of troops and veterans.

The Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department are working to merge their health records so that doctors can track a patient’s health history from the time he or she enters the military to when her or she leaves and gets care at the VA.

The plan was to build a whole new computer system that would allow the two departments to merge all their health records by 2017. The departments announced Tuesday they could get the job done more quickly and cheaply by enhancing their existing, but disparate computer systems.

Leaders of the Senate and House committees overseeing veterans’ issues disagreed, saying Wednesday that the change in tactics shortchanged veterans.
When DOD and VA take shortcuts, the veterans and service members under their care will be shortchanged, said Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

We have just witnessed hundreds of millions of dollars go down the drain,î said the ranking Democratic member of the committee, Rep. Mike Michaud of Maine.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., expressed similar sentiments in a joint statement.

The merging of health records by the Pentagon and VA is designed to enhance patient care. The idea is for doctors at the VA to be able to pull up health records and determine quickly what illnesses, prescriptions and tests a person had while in the military. The same concept works for veterans who are treated through the military’s Tricare system.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Feb. 5 that instead of building a single, integrated computer system that both departments would use, they would instead focus on standardizing patient data in a way that would work for the existing systems each department maintained. VA officials said the goal is still to create one single record for patients that doctors working for either department could use.

This approach is affordable, it’s achievable, and if we refocus our efforts, we believe we can achieve the key goal of a seamless system of health records between VA and DOD on a greatly accelerated schedule, Panetta said.




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


 
 

 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card program

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Nov. 18 that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on November 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. VA continues to focus on implementation of this new...
 
 

VA to hold small business engagement in Atlanta next month

The Department of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with other federal agencies and partners, will sponsor the 4th annual National Veterans Small Business Engagement, Dec. 9-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. The premier event for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, the NVSBE is expected to attract as many as 3,000 attendees offering the chance...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO3 Jon Erickson

World War II cruiser USS Houston final report completed

Navy photograph by PO3 Jon Erickson Naval officers from Australia, Indonesia and the United States participate in a wreath-laying ceremony aboard the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) in honor of the crews of the U.S. Na...
 

 
DOD photograph by PO2 Sean Hurt

Hagel says Vietnam Wall teaches sacrifice, need for questioning policies

DOD photograph by PO2 Sean Hurt Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with a Vietnam War veteran after a Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Nov. 11, 2014. The Vietnam War Memorial t...
 
 

Unbroken line of vets keeps America free, Biden says

An unbroken line of veterans has kept the United States and its freedoms safe since the founding of the republic, Vice President Joe Biden said Nov. 11 at America’s most sacred shrine. Biden thanked veterans and their families for their efforts and sacrifices during Veterans’ Day ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Jarad A. Denton

Veterans Day abroad: A moment of silence for the fallen

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Jarad A. Denton Rows of crosses line the Cambridge American Cemetery, England, Nov. 11, 2014. The cemetery was dedicated in 1956 as the final resting place of 3,812 American service members.  ...
 




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>