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.


 
 

 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner

Airman’s remains returned home 62 years after his death

Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner Members of the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard transport the remains of Airman 3rd Class Howard Martin during a dignified arrival July 10, 2014, at the Indianapolis Internationa...
 
 

Acting VA secretary outlines problems, actions taken

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs July 15, Acting VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to health care and key actions the department has taken to get veterans off waiting lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of...
 

 

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to host World War I 100th anniversary event

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I in Europe as one of the nation’s premier historical aviation events, the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will bring the excitement and adrenaline of early air power to Ohio, Sept. 27-28. The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will feature vintage reproduction...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

94th Infantry Division vets reunite to remember World War II

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Some 20 World War II veterans of the 94th Infantry Division gathered in Arlington, Va., June 28, 2014, for their 65th annual reunion.   To remain hidden against the snow in Germany during W...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 David Kolmel

Face of Defense: France honors World War II veterans

Navy photograph by PO1 David Kolmel Aboard the French FlorÈal-class frigate FS Prairial berthed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Rear Adm. Anne Cullere, commander in chief of French forces in the Pacific, presents U.S. World War II ve...
 




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>