recommended reading

Goodbye Paper: VA Installs Automated Claims System in All Regional Offices

pling/Shutterstock.com

The Veterans Affairs Department finished installing its paperless Veterans Benefits Management System last week in all 56 of its regional offices. VBMS is key to helping the department eliminate its backlog of disability claims, senior officials have said.

“Now that the system is in place, much work continues to be done as we roll out more features and train more users,” said Tommy Sowers, assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs, in a note to reporters.

Nextgov reported in January that VA farmed out 21 percent of the work on VBMS, valued at $105 million since 2010, to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic.

Last week, after visiting VA offices in Manchester, N.H., Secretary Eric Shinseki said “This is a big cross-over year for us. We have for decades sat astride rivers of paper. Now we are in the process of turning off paper spigots and turning on electronic ones.”

Shinseki has said VBMS will help VA eliminate the disability claims backlog by 2015. VA reported it had 851,229 disability claims pending as of June 10, with 565,327, or 66.4 percent, backlogged more than 125 days. That’s a decline of 52,055, or 5.8 percent, from the 903,286 claims VA had pending on March 25, and a drop of 68,262, or 10.8 percent, from the 633,589 claims stuck in processing for more than 125 days at the end of March.

In a related development, the 2014 Defense Authorization Bill passed by the House on June 14, includes an amendment from Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., that directs the Pentagon to provide VA with veterans’ service records in an efficient, electronic format.

This amendment codifies plans by Defense to use a bulk scanning system for paper medical files. It also requires Defense to provide VA with service members’ certified, complete and electronic records within 90 days of military discharge or release.

(Image via pling/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.