VA pilot tests accelerating medical records processing

Aim is to reduce time to obtain record from 40 to 7 days

The Veterans Affairs Department is hoping to speed up the time it takes to obtain medical records from non-VA doctors by using a private contractor.Currently, it takes up to 40 days for the VA to obtain medical records from non-VA physicians to adjudicate a veteran’s benefit claim.

The VA has set up a pilot project with DOMA, an electronic records management company that claims it can reduce the process to seven days by using an electronic system, according to a Dec. 2 posting in the VA’ Vantage Point blog.

“This is huge,” wrote VA blogger Lauren Bailey. “So, in new, true VA fashion we’re giving it a test go.”

The VA is running the pilot process at its Jackson Regional Office and if it is effective, it will roll out to six other pilot sites, where it will operate until March 2011. At that point a decision will be made on whether the process is effective and ought to be rolled out to every regional office, Bailey wrote.

“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,” the VA blog states.

The blog entry did not state the cost of the demonstration program.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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