Lawmakers Push Hagel On DoD-VA Interoperability

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | April 17, 2013

Lawmakers on the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees are pressuring Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for clarification on the agency’s plans for speeding up information sharing and updating its electronic health record system.

Amid drawn-out delays averaging more than 200 days in veterans’ benefits processing at the Department of Veterans Affairs — which depend to some extent on accessing health information housed at the DoD — and uncertainty over long-term plans for DoD-VA EHR integration or information exchange, the “necessity of DoD and VA’s cooperation cannot be overstated,” wrote the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican.

“The expectations of the American public, including the men and women who have worn the uniform, are reasonable,” the committee wrote. “Veterans’ disability benefits claims must be adjudicated in a timely and accurate manner and veterans must receive the benefits to which they are entitled.”