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VA rolls out claims improvements

The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to roll out its planned improvements to the disability claims process to 12 more regional offices this year. The changes include streamlined processing for simple claims, a new, rules-based electronic benefits management system, better triaging of veterans' claims documents, and a cross-functional approach for VA staff. The rest of VA's regional offices will see the changes by next year. It's part of the department's effort to be able to process all disability claims within 125 days by the year 2015.

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Tuesday - 04/24/2012, 04:22pm EDT

FedRAMP to approve 3rd party accreditors

The first outside firms who will make sure cloud computing providers meet federal security guidelines under the new FedRAMP program will be announced by the end of May. The General Services Administration and the National Institutes of Standards of Technology have been sorting through applications for months. The third parties are an instrumental part of FedRAMP, and they'll be subject to conflict of interest rules designed to make sure accreditors aren't also providing cloud computing services to the federal government.

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Tuesday - 04/24/2012, 04:20pm EDT

HHS claims big returns from health care fraud reforms

The Department of Health and Human Services says new federal laws designed to fight medicare fraud are paying dividends. HHS says it recovered 4.1 billion dollars in fraudulent claims last year. And the number of fraud prosecutions was up 75 percent compared with fiscal year 2008. HHS also revoked almost 5,000 Medicaid providers and 57,000 Medicare providers, and used computerized edits to stop more than 200 million dollars in implausible claims before they went out the door, and turned into improper payments.

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Thursday - 04/12/2012, 11:30am EDT

DoD plans its own mobile app store

The Defense Department is just weeks away from launching its own internal app store for DoD users. And along with the store, the Pentagon is promising a faster securing approval process to bring more consumer mobile devices into military use. The new store is part of DoD's first ever department-wide framework for mobile devices, being led by the Defense Information Systems Agency. DISA says the store will take a federated approach, and let the military services aggregate their work on mobile applications all in one place.

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Thursday - 04/12/2012, 11:29am EDT

VA, DoD to roll out early version of EHR

The Department of Veterans Affairs and DoD are planning on rolling out some of the early work they've done on a joint health records system. V-A says a preliminary version of the integrated electronic health record will go online by next year at hospitals in Hampton Roads, Virginia and San Antonio, Texas. The system will include the joint graphical user interface the two departments have already built. VA and DoD have been working to integrate their records to provide better care to servicemembers as they transition out of the military and into V-A care.

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Tuesday - 04/10/2012, 10:43am EDT

Agencies place bets on big data solicitations

Federal agencies are committing a big chunk of money in hopes of making progress on the "big data" problem. Six federal agencies led by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health will commit up to 200 million dollars in a joint procurement aimed at coming up with better ways of managing ever growing, ever more complex data sets, and making all that information more useful. And several agencies are planning other big data procurements of their own, on top of the 200 million.

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Tuesday - 04/10/2012, 10:39am EDT

DoD wants mobile apps that promote STEM education

The Defense Department is sponsoring a new challenge that it hopes will serve two purposes - getting its future workforce better educated on science, technology, engineering and math, and coming up with innovative ways to use mobile technology in DoD. The challenge runs through June. The Pentagon wants mobile app developers to submit entries designed to help overcome common misconceptions in science. The contest is sponsored by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, a research and development office within DoD.

Tags: Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology

Wednesday - 03/28/2012, 04:50pm EDT

VA offers customized health info to vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs has started delivering health benefits handbooks, custom tailored to the situations of individual veterans. Vets in VA's Priority Group 1 have already started receiving the books, which detail VA facility information, personalized benefit and copay details and other information. For female veterans, the book will include gender-specific coverage information and details on how to get covered care outside of VA facilities. The agency's planning to create a secure online version of the personalized handbooks soon.

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Friday - 03/09/2012, 02:02pm EST

OMB upgrades IT dashboard

The Office of Management and Budget says a new 2.0 version of the government's IT dashboard will give a lot more insight into individual agencies' IT spending. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel says the revamped dashboard will give the public access to individual projects and activities associated with an IT investment, along with connections to funding sources. OMB hopes the more granular data will help identify duplication in agency IT projects and help pinpoint performance problems.

Tags: technology

Friday - 03/09/2012, 02:00pm EST

CMS uses text alerts to promote Medicaid enrollment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to partner with the nationwide Text4Baby text messaging service to try and make sure newborns are enrolled in health care coverage. The service already provides prenatal health information to expectant mothers, tied to their due dates. CMS now plans to use the program to alert those same moms about the availability of health coverage under Medicaid and the Childrens' Health Insurance Program. Those messages will go out to about 184,000 users.

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Thursday - 03/01/2012, 06:31pm EST
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