12/08/2010 08:17 am ET Updated 6 days ago

Better claims processing for veterans

Dayton It's really frustrating waiting for information that might take unnecessarily long to get help for a vet. The folks at Veterans Affairs report on some real progress towards improving that.





Development is the lengthiest part of the claims process, taking around 100 days. Right now, if you were to submit a claim that requires medical records from a doctor outside of the VA network it could take up to 40 days for VA to get the documents.

So, we're banging our heads on our paper covered desks trying to figure out ways to reduce wait times for claims--a move that will, over time, break the back the of the backlog--and it occurs to us: 

DOMA, a company that specializes in electronic document management, said they can get medical records from non-VA docs in support of a Veteran's compensation and pension claim in seven days. This is huge.

We're piloting the process at the Jackson Regional Office and if it works--if DOMA can get the docs in seven days--we'll roll it out to six other sites, and sort of make the company walk the walk again. Those six additional pilots will run until March 2011. We'll know if they're a success because VBA employees will be able to track and validate the records coming in quickly and DOMA will be giving the Regional Offices weekly reports: How many requests were made, how many requests were fulfilled and how long the fulfillment took. If it's a success we'll roll it out the initiative to every Regional Office.

The best part? Veterans won't have to do anything: No more liaising with your doctors, no more worrying if your records are going to make it in a timely fashion. DOMA will get the records electronically, through a secure transmission from your doctor to VA in seven days flat.