The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Information & Technology (OI&T), Product Development (PD) is to provide benefits and services to Veterans of the United States through the development of information technology solutions. In meeting these goals, OI&T strives to provide high quality, effective, and efficient Information Technology (IT) services to those responsible for providing care to the Veterans at the point-of-care as well as throughout all the points of the Veterans’ health care in an effective, timely and compassionate manner. VA depends on Information Management/IT systems to meet mission goals.
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers and the Program of General Caregiver Support Services are collectively referred to as the Caregiver Support Program (CSP). These programs provide a menu of services and support to Caregivers associated with all enrolled eligible Veterans. The CSP offers enhanced services and support to Caregivers of post 9/11 Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, and meet other program criteria. Once approved, the enhanced services and support provides primary family Caregivers with a monthly financial stipend, training and education, access to health care through Civilian Health and Medical Program of VA (CHAMPVA), mental health care, respite care and travel and lodging to attend Veteran medical appointments and required Caregiver training. Additionally, CSP provides limited support and services to secondary Caregivers who serve as a back-up to the appointed primary Caregiver.
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, while originally planned to support
4,200 Veterans and their Caregivers in 2015, currently supports nearly 22,000 approved Caregivers as of August 2015 and has processed more than 40,000 applications. The Program’s demand for services and support has significantly outpaced the VA initial projections of eligible post 9/11 Veterans.
As the Program has grown and flexed, the Program’s business needs and associated data requirements have increased and evolved in complexity. For example, the Caregiver Application Tracker (CAT) was not initially conceived to support the business needs of the Caregiver Support Line.
The CAT was developed quickly due to legislative time constraints and was designed to manage a relatively low volume of applicant data. The CSP does not have ready access to the type of data and associated reports that would allow CAT users across the system to monitor their program’s application workload reliably or track participant status changes over time due to the limited capabilities of its data system, which was conceived and designed to manage a much smaller program with less complex data needs.
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