Improved Accuracy Rates On VA Disability Claims? Or Not?

A few posts back I may have referred to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) senior officials as “lumbering simpletons,” and for that I must apologize, because they have managed something truly spectacular.  Here are the accuracy averages for veteran disability claim approval rates in 2012, just to give you a picture of how well things were progressing prior to the transition to the new system.  Each “claim” represents a number of “issues,” such as, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI), for which a veteran requests disability compensation.  Raters have the unenviable job of sorting through hundreds of pages of often confusing medical documentation to decide the severity of each issue, and what disability percentage each claimant is due.  Their accuracy rate has been hovering around the low 80s and some sources suggest that it is actually much lower.  You’ll notice that in September 2012 the target rates jumped up sharply; that is because the VA assumes that through the magic of technology and rater efficiency, they will experience automatic 3 percent annual increases in claim accuracy.  I suppose the blue line never got that message.

Claims Nevertheless, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has vowed to break the backlog and simultaneously increase veteran benefit claims accuracy rates, from their current position somewhere between 70-85 percent, to 98 percent by 2015.  So they have pioneered a brand new system; they are changing the way they in disability claims.  Sounds great right?  Well it’s all an illusion.  Here’s a scenario for you:

Suppose 20 veterans submit claims with an average of 5 issues per claim.  After raters process these 20 claims, they later find that three of the claims viagra pill have 4 errors total.  The table below describes the current system of measuring accuracy vs. the new system, which I’ve only been made aware of by combing through hours of tedious Congressional testimony.

Claims table

Neither of these systems allows for claims which were technically accurate but are successfully appealed by the veteran.  For example, if a rater or physician made an error in assessing the severity of the disability, and the rating is corrected through the appeals process, this would not be counted in the accuracy rates.  Moreover, accuracy figures for complicated claims, like temporary 100 percent ratings, are measured separately — which fundamentally distorts overall claim accuracy.

A possible solution would be to track both of these measures, and to include all rating endeavors in the accuracy figures.  The VA is already exempt from budget cuts, so what’s the point of all of the dissembling?



Comments (31)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Lauren Sabino says:

    Interesting post, I like how you are passionate about keeping the VA accountable. Certainly, the graph you used for the post reinforces this.

  2. Patel says:

    Since the VA is safe from budget cuts, why is it such a hot mess? Certainly the lack of resources cannot be the reason for such errors in processing claims.

  3. Neil says:

    The NCPA has been doing some great work on the VA. Keep it up!

    Maybe the VA should have to explain the efficiencies of their programs and the uses of the money they receive.

  4. Anthony Sombers says:

    VA inefficiencies has been a problem for many decades, but it just seems to keep getting worse. Thanks for the post, Kyle.

  5. Gabriel Odom says:

    The VA is a “hot mess” as you stated BECAUSE of the immunity to budget cuts, not in spite of them. Any time that a manager knows that they will receive the same funding regardless of quality, that manager will have no incentive whatsoever to maintain quality.

  6. Kyle Buckley says:

    Yep. My personal recommendation was that the Inspector General or GAO place personnel in supervisory positions with the power to hire, fire or relocate personnel. Much like in the private sector how EHR personnel are inserted into hospitals. OR give the OIG discretionary access to VA budget allocations.

    Or better yet, do away with the whole system. Retain rating, administrators, and diagnosticians and convert all of that physical overhead into retention surplus for claim fluctuations due to things like, oh I dunno, war. Then just give all vets disability HSA or FSA cards to seek healthcare in the private sector.

  7. Neil says:

    “Moreover, accuracy figures for complicated claims, like temporary 100 percent ratings, are measured separately — which fundamentally distorts overall claim accuracy.”

    – Of course the government would distort claim accuracy. Perception is everything!

  8. Jaime says:

    Not many know thyat byy just taking care of your caffeine
    intake you can reduce your cholesterol level to a greater
    extent. Your determination is of great importance in this as well
    ass the quit smoking aid you are going to use. Thhe cartomizers also degrade in time,
    but their replacement does not require big expenses.

    my homepage electronic cigarettes New Brunswick

  9. Leesa says:

    I used to be recommended this website by way off my cousin. I am no
    longer certain whether or not this put up is written by means of him as no one else know such special approximately my
    difficulty. You are incredible! Thank you!

    My web-site e-cigarettes

  10. Abby says:

    Medical treatment program in United States depends heavily on exclusive health insurance za
    not-for profit medical insurance.

  11. Vanessa says:

    Most health insurance california [] strategies you are nonetheless responsible for, what is termed coinsurance.

  12. Dong says:

    Consequently, in my encounter, I have located most brokers selling
    strategies greater than occasionally, represent greater
    than one shop insurance comparison ( coverage business.

  13. Edwardo says:

    Une fois arrive a la maison, on poetry ses 5 kilos de avis consommateur cuiseur riz magimix
    dans le compartiment hermetique prevu a l’effet.

  14. Antonietta says:

    I think she might not create any type of lawful obvious that she ever possessed the paint in the first
    place, such as will, home content insurance coverage.

    my blog

  15. Terrie says:

    I really like what you guys tend to be up too.
    Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated
    you guys to blogroll.

    My web-site elettronicasigaretta.It (http://elettronicasigaretta.It/)

  16. Harry says:

    The ancients believed in the rule of seven–that every seven years, there is a great crop.
    Your distribution model is an important consideration. Whatever
    the size of your trading party, everything should be free.

    My web-site

  17. Marilou says:

    Today, certified schools offer training programs in myotherapy.
    Hot Stone Massage – Is a style of massage therapy in which
    water-treated stones are placed at specific sites on the body to promote relaxation and
    to help open up the merdians (energy pathways). “There are
    many kinds and techniques of myotherapy (myo is Latin for muscle), but this brand,
    Mancao Myotherapy is the fastest in the relief of chronic muscle pains.

    my weblog myotherapists

  18. What’s up, its nice paragraph regarding media print, we
    all know media is a fantastic source of data.

  19. Don says:

    Tens machines can be hired from well being centres,
    physicians surgeries, clinics and hospitals.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post; online slot machines
    reviews (

  20. Birgit says:

    buy fut 15 coins Unmatched Authenticity Compete with over 500 of buy andficially licensed clubs in 11 versus 11 matches in authentic
    stadiums from around the world. The problem is that FIFA 15 feels significantly better than FIFA 14.
    If you keep this general strategy in mind when you watch,
    their combos will be very obvious and you will catch
    on quickly.

    My blog: fifa 15 coin generator no survey

  21. Harriet says:

    There are a lot of on the net casinos that can provide you generous bonuses and therefore
    there is little probability that you shed.

    my website double bubble slot tips for vegas

  22. Debora says:

    One important aspect which might influence appetite control
    could be the perception of food cravings. However, take into consideration to speak with a health professional or even a doctor prior to trying out this diet.

    Chubby cheeks, dark under eye circles and double chins could be
    the consequence of lack of exercise and not eating a correctly balanced diet.

    My web page weight loss after hysterectomy with ovary removal

  23. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you will be a
    great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back very soon. I
    want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice day!

  24. Sac Au Sultan Longchamp says:

    I’d always want to be update on new articles on this web website , saved to favorites ! .
    Sac Au Sultan Longchamp

  25. Kermit says:

    The online information mill crowded, that can make selling your goods challenging.

    all of craigslist all of craigslist craigslist anywhere

  26. Veola says:

    Prix de la plancha gaz depend du choisi des differentes
    choices disponibles de finition.

  27. Richelle says:

    How to Find Used Pickup Trucks on all of craigslist to
    Start Your Used Car Search.

  28. Felipa says:

    Hello there, I believe your web site could possibly be having
    browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening
    in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, fantastic blog!

    my web blog bao hiem hang hoa duong bien

  29. Anthony says:

    After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I definitely
    like your way of operating a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will
    be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web site too and let me know
    what you think.

    My webpage dentists fayetteville ar

  30. Alannah says:

    Why – due too the fact yoou hwve been trying and trying but you just can’t seem
    to get a flat flatten stomach diet.

  31. Marilyn says:

    There are techniques like forex brokers in new zealand ( scalping, breakout technique,
    forex trend trading and the record remains.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.