How might we deliver better services to our nation's veterans?

Helping the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs better support Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life, adopt medical innovations to improve health outcomes, and reduce the processing time for benefits claims

Improving Services for Veterans

The Department of Veteran’s affairs is working to help the VA adopt modern digital service delivery best practices, become more data-driven, improve processes and improve the experience that veterans have when interacting with the VA online. As part of this effort, the VA is seeking four Presidential Innovation Fellows to work on the following challenges:

Transition: The transition from military to civilian life presents many challenges for today's Veterans, and is an area the VA is very interested in better supporting. How can we ensure that the VA is providing the right services and products to assist Veterans with this significant life change?

APIs: As the largest hospital system in the country, VA has massive and valuable data, but it is often locked inside VA’s legacy systems. How can VA better share data, both internally and externally, to enable medical research, better health outcomes, and better experiences for Veterans when interacting with VA?

Claims: When a Veteran applies for disability compensation from VA, it takes an average of 100 days to process the claim, and currently over 78,000 claims that have been waiting 125 days or more. Cutting this processing time and backlog is the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) highest priority this year. The problem is not solely about the application time, however, but just as important is the experience Veterans have during this process. As one example of potential improvement, Veterans are often scheduled for medical exams at times they cannot attend or places they cannot get to, and are told of the appointment via a letter in the mail. Multiple parts of the disability compensation application process can be improved through both technology and policy changes, including automation, improving notifications to Veterans, expanding access to data, and changing the way claims are accepted and processed.

For these projects, the VA is looking for the following skill sets: digital strategy, data science, product management, healthcare technology, software development and/or management consulting.