VA Taps IT Firm to Support Family Caregiver Engagement Expansion

VA Taps IT Firm to Support Family Caregiver Engagement Expansion

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs As part of the VA MISSION Act , the agency must expand its family caregiver support program to include caregivers of veteran patients injured on or after September 11, 2001. Now, the family caregiver program will include those who take care of family members injured during any era, the agency said. “Caregivers play a critical role in the health and well-being of some of our most vulnerable Veterans,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “Under the MISSION Act, we are strengthening and expanding our program to positively impact the lives of Veterans and deliver the best customer experience to them and their caregivers.” In order to do successfully expand the caregiver program, the agency will need to implement new technologies that will help manage a larger number of caregivers benefitting from the support program. Specifically, VA will conduct a three-step phased-in approach for the new IT system using the commercial off-the-shelf product Caregiver Record Management Application (CARMA). After initial tool deployment, VA will enter into its second phase to begin using CARMA to streamline family caregiver benefits and stipends. VA plans to begin this second phase in January 2020. By the summer of 2020, VA hopes to be entering phase three, during which the agency will optimize the CARMA tool to allow family caregivers to apply for benefits. Following the completion of phase three, the VA will conduct regular screenings to ensure the system is working properly. At that point, VA will expand the family caregiver engagement and support system to include all eligible parties, not just those covered under previous regulations. Program expansion will happen in two phases, the agency said. By summer 2020, or after the VA Secretary deems the IT system to be functional, the agency will begin expanding […]

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