In a “significant modernization effort,” the VA has removed nearly 8 million paper files from 60 locations in under 22 months. The files are scanned into the electronic claims process system, which means faster claims decisions, the VA says.
According to the VA, it is a milestone in a years-long project to improve the veteran experience and streamline claims processes. The project began in 2013 when the VA began removing paper records from its regional offices to save space and money. It then expanded in 2016 when the VA launched the File Bank Extraction initiative, which removed more than 1.7 million paper claims files. In 2017, the agency began extracting 6.1 million paper records held in the Records Control Division (RCD) in St. Louis.
The records are temporarily stored in a secure facility certified by the National Archives and Records Administration, where they are inventoried, prioritized, and sent to VA vendors for scanning into the VA’s Veterans Benefits Management System.
The VA is negotiating to return the RCD’s leased warehouse space to the General Services Administration, estimating the move will save roughly $1.8 million per year.
VA achieves major milestone in effort to modernize claims processing [news release]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations; October 23,2018. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5131. Accessed October 31, 2018.