VA, DOD to collaborate on discharge, exam processing

VA, DOD to collaborate on discharge, exam processing

The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments have a deal to combine the physical examinations service members undergo when they leave the military.

The departments this week signed an agreement to implement cooperative separation processes and physical exams. VA and DOD will also examine the technical feasibility, schedule and costs for conducting electronic physicals and using a single, electronic record that meets military and VA requirements, DOD said yesterday.

Service members typically undergo two physical exams within months of each other when they file for VA benefits. The exams are redundant, delay claims processing and increase cost, DOD said in the statement. But neither examination meets the needs of both agencies.

The departments are increasing collaboration to streamline the process of moving soldiers from DOD to VA responsibility.

The departments recently implemented the DOD/VA Bi-directional Health Information Exchange to handle data on shared patients, said Cliff Freeman, director, VA/DOD Health IT Sharing. The exchange ensures that pertinent DOD health information is available when a service member enters the veterans' health care system.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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