An automated system designed to accelerate disability claims decisions at the Department of Veterans Affairs contributed to inaccurate ratings for 27% of claims filed for high blood pressure, a new report from the VA's inspector general has found.
The Automated Benefits Delivery System, introduced in December 2021 ahead of an anticipated flood of disability applications related to the PACT Act, pulls blood pressure readings and high blood pressure-related medical data from VA treatment records and creates a summary sheet that is reviewed by VA staff, known as rating veterans service representatives.
But a review by the VA Office of the Inspector General published Monday found that in samples of summary sheets, 37% of the first batch of 30 sheets were deficient, as were 57% of the second 30 sheets. These inaccuracies resulted in wrongful decisions by the ratings representatives for more than a quarter of the 60 claims.
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The report did not detail the extent of the errors or say whether the decisions favored the veterans or the VA. It also covered a limited number of examples at a time when the technology was in development.
The report comes as a growing number of Vietnam-era veterans have filed claims under the PACT Act for high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and have received 0%…