Streamlining Benefits Communication with Veterans
VA’s IT modernization efforts in 2018 have focused on using resources more efficiently, on finding the best value to the Veteran and to the taxpayer for VA’s IT spend. A large part of this modernization has included an aggressive focus on collaborating with our business partners throughout VA to streamline the tools that facilitate disability compensation, pension benefits, and appeals for our Veterans — ensuring they are processed timely, securely and cost-effectively.
VA and Veterans are already realizing early benefits of this IT Modernization. Through a strong partnership between the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), OIT, and the Government Printing Office (GPO), VA launched the Centralized Benefits Communications Management (CBCM) program in January 2018. This program streamlines and centralizes printing and distribution of correspondence, improving VA’s speed and efficiency in communicating with Veterans, as well as enhancing the security and privacy of their information.
On August 29, 2018, the CBCM program achieved a major milestone with the transmission of its 3.5 millionth letter at a notable cost avoidance to VA of more than $4.8 million. More importantly, this program frees up 307,000 labor hours — time associated with manually printing and mailing individual letters — and time that can be reinvested in streamlining Veterans’ claims.
This Veteran-focused partnership between OIT, VBA, and GPO has also helped VA establish practices and tools that enhance our ability to identify potential challenges with distribution, such as address changes or integration with sister-agency databases, and then rapidly scale solutions across the entire Department. This is just one example of VA’s progress toward IT modernization.