The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently contracted with BLH Technologies, Inc.® (BLH) to code Vietnam era combat operations data for use in integrating the data into the Official Military Archives Report (OMAR) system. OMAR is a new system implemented by the VA and used to expedite the verification process for veteran mental health claims. Processing of mental health claims can be a complex process and can take in excess of more than six weeks. The OMAR system was implemented in 2018 and has been shown to speed verification of mental health claims down to minutes thus saving time, reducing costs, and improving support to our veterans’ health needs.
Previously, the OMAR system included a limited set of records imported from SIGACT (significant activity reports) from Iraq and Afghanistan. The VA aimed to increase the capabilities and use of OMAR by adding an estimated few hundred thousand new records from Vietnam era combat operations data. However, through support from BLH and our data analytics and research team, the OMAR system increased that to more than 2.7 million records from the Vietnam war era.
As stated by a VA executive in a recent online post, “This new database enables us to immediately substantiate veterans’ claims… it has brought us speed and efficiency and modernized our claim processing.” (ref: https://bit.ly/2JbsbuV).
It is estimated that nearly 100,000 veterans apply for mental health claims per year and that these claims are increasing at a rate of over 12% each year; sadly, an average of 20 veterans commit suicide every day. The OMAR system is a highly innovative solution to help address the related claims processing issue and is making a major impact to improve the support for our nation’s veterans.
BLH is proud to support such an important VA project.