VA and Defense Department at Odds on Integrated Health Records

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense Department (DoD) are slated to merge their health record systems by 2017, but negotiations are hitting road blocks.

The most recent developments in the struggle for medical record integration came late February when DoD officials rejected adopting the VA’s VISTA health record system, according to Stars and Stripes. The VA has been using VISTA for years, but some argue that the system may be outdated and not as adaptable as other systems under consideration.

One thing that both departments do seem to agree on is that veterans and doctors should be able to share the same medical records no matter what system is employed. The goal is still to create a single health record system to improve communication between the departments’ health facilities.

Urgency for this measure comes from the backlog of veterans’ disability claims that have suffered from delays in communication of medical records. When the VA has to pull medical records from the DoD, it creates extra steps in the approval process that can add unnecessary time to the completion of a claim.

Officials have promised that by the end of 2013 one of the major steps to the seamless health record system will be completed. At year’s end the basic sharing of health records and a common method of displaying records will be developed and implemented. A major decision on which computer system to approve will come by the end of March.

Medical records are one of the most important parts of a veterans disability claim and incomplete records may result in unnecessary claim delays. The veterans’ disability claim team at The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group is ready to help disabled veterans  apply for benefits and help through the process. Contact our disability rights firm today 1-855-855-8992.