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USDS Unveils New Web App for VA Benefit Claim Appeals

electronic-health-record-EHRThe U.S. Digital Service has launched a new Web application that seeks to expedite the disability claims appeals process at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Kavi Harshawat and Mary Ann Brody wrote in a Medium blog post published Friday.

The authors are part of a USDS team within the VA that partnered with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals to develop the Caseflow Certification tool.

Harshawat and Brody wrote the Caseflow app aims to reduce the backlog of more than 450,000 pending claims at the VA using a “human-centered” paperless model.

The USDS team said the current process that was built in the 1980s resets the review of an appeal every time new evidence such as medical records is presented, subsequently delaying the appeal of veterans and beneficiaries as new health problems come up.

Approximately 80,000 veterans have unresolved claims older than five years while 5,000 veterans have pending appeals older than 10 years, the team noted.

Caseflow — built based on the U.S. Web Design Standards — works to check whether necessary documents have been added to an appeal before it moves toward certification to help reduce errors and delays associated with manual processing, Harshawat and Brody said.

The authors said the team spoke with VA employees, observed their process to better understand the current system and went back to the VA offices to test the prototype and gain feedback.

CaseFlow Certification is the first of a series of CaseFlow apps, Harshawat and Brody noted.

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