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 (15)

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. Susanna says:

    As the wedding gathered momentum, spectators broke off for autograph,
    celebrity panels plus a short unannounced event taking place.

    Wedding Photographs can be a bunch of memorie which you will cherish through out your life, enjoy in your search as well ass
    yojr new life. Make ure a web based business on your gown at fittings that you’ve the dress laced up all the way tto see what iit really will
    look like and lso to makoe ure the gow fits you, not only that you can be made to ffit in it.

    Check oout my website … Undangan Pernikahan Murah

  9. Kandace says:

    Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness on your put up is just nice and i could suppose you’re an expert
    on this subject. Well together with your permission let me to seize your feed to keep updated with impending post.

    Thanks one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

    My web-site Pedro Alberto Flores Lira

  10. Suzanne says:

    As mentioned earlier, mobile phones are widely used by majority of people not
    only in the United States but in other countries as well.
    Forr eg: Invertising or Invited advertising allows onsumers
    to seek specific information he needs and the
    advertiser can then send a mobile video orr a voice SMS to the
    specific consumer. , buying, selling ass well aas promotion of
    products and services has indeed evolved for the better.

    Heree is my webpage … how to make money online for free as a kid

  11. Hilton says:

    Your style vape vaping vapes vapor cigarettes ez vape vapor cigarette vaping vs smoking is vaping safe vapor smoke vaporizer cigarette how to vape cig vape vapor cigarettes canada vapor e cig smoking vapor water vapor cigarettes e cigarette vapor vapour smoke vape cigarette e vapor cigarettes portable vape vaping to quit smoking electronic vapor cigarette vapour smoking e vapor cig electronic cigarette ecigarettes e cigarette canada ecig electronic cigarette canada e cigarettes canada electronic cigarettes best e cigarette are e cigarettes safe ecigs ecigarette e smoke best e cig e cigarette side effects best electronic cigarette e cigarette brands e cigarette reviews best ecig cheap cigarettes smokeless cigarettes where to buy e cigarettes nicotine free e cigarettes e smoke canada e cigarette price e cigarettes in canada where to buy electronic cigarettes e cigarettes with nicotine e cigarette with nicotine electronic cigarette reviews buy e cigarettes online e cig mods electronic cigarette price canada e cigarette buy e cigarette e cigarette store buy electronic cigarette cheap e cigarette buy e cigarette canada refillable e cigarette cheap e cig electronic cigarette juice e cigarette refills e cigarette kits buy electronic cigarettes online e juice ejuice e liquid eliquid vape juice best e juice e cig juice e cigarette liquid e cig liquid e cigarette juice e liquids e liquid nicotine e liquid flavors best e cig juice what is in e cig juice so unique
    compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for
    posting when you have the opportunity, Guess
    I will just bookmark this site.

  12. Jeffry says:

    Sometimes these are for educational or utilitarian reasons.
    And thirdly, you need to be able to catch your consumers when they
    are in need of your product. With the increased availability of 4G
    networks, and download speeds of up how to make money online forums 12 Mbps, streaming a video from You
    – Tube could take as little as a few seconds.

  13. Kerrie says:

    Excerllent ssite үоu’ѵе gott ɦere.. It’s harrd tto fijd Һigh-quality wfiting likje yyours
    nowadays. Ӏ truy apprecate pekple lije ʏou!
    Takee care!!

    Allso visxit mmy bloog postt prodotti Per perdere peso velocemente

  14. Bruce says:

    Thee Internet is an obvious weapon and yyou can read information about various cars on websites annd forums.
    In the 3-year time window we mayy see other players enter or exit with different drivetrains
    – not just electric. Peugeot 406: A large family car made by Peugeot from 1995 to 2004 and available as a saloon, estate or coup.

  15. Lenore says:

    The most receently released French study
    about e-cigarettes health risks reemphasizes WHO’s concern about the lck of child-proof safety caps that can expose
    children to potentially fatal nicotine levels. Apart from
    this, people find excuse to their smoking. Once this presaure
    iis detected, the atomizer produces enough heat too combine the required amount
    of water and nicotine to produce vapor.

    My bblog post electronic cigarettes

Leave a Reply

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