Healthcare and Our Military

Highlighting Health Care for Veterans and Military

In honor of our holiday this week we would like to highlight health care, veterans, the VHA, and our military.

Uninsured Veterans and Family Members, Who Are They and Where Do They Live? was a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and authored by Jennifer Haley, consultant and Genevieve M. Kenney, senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center. The study finds an estimated 1.3 million veterans and nearly 950,000 members of their families are uninsured, together making up 4.8% of the nation’s 47.3 million uninsured in 2010. 41% of uninsured veterans report having unmet medical needs, while nearly 34% have delayed care due to cost. With the Supreme Court upholding the ACA law, under the coverage provisions, an estimated 50% of uninsured veterans would qualify for expanded Medicaid coverage, and 40% of uninsured veterans could potentially qualify for subsidized coverage through health insurance exchanges if they do not have access to affordable employer coverage. States that have made the least progress (or might not participate at all) in implementing health insurance exchanges have the highest rates of uninsured veterans; almost 40% of uninsured veterans and their family members live in these states.

The Pacific Joint Information Technology Center (Pacific JITC) based in Maui, HI supports DoD medical readiness requirements and IT modernization needs through rapid prototyping and advanced concept development. Seven technology companies will share the $300 million, five-year project to support information management and technology demonstrations for the Pacific JITC. Government Health IT contributing editor Bernie Monegain reports on the project in her article MHS taps Maui military center as HIT modernization trailblazer.

On June 13, 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Acquisition Operations, Technology Acquisition Center awarded Contract Number VA118-12-C-0039 to Ray Group International, LLC, in Tampa, FL. The $4.9 million contract is for the performance of support services to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA). RGI is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). OSEHRA supports an open, collaborative community of users, developers, and companies engaged in advancing electronic health record software and health information technology.

Mary Mosquera, Senior Editor for Government Health IT writes on the 6 lasting effects of 2006 VA data breach on privacy, security. It has been six years since the employee’s laptop containing personal information of millions of veterans was stolen when it was taken out of the VA’s facility. The VA has come a long way since then, standing as a “model for how to effectively integrate tough safeguards into its daily operations.”

AlertBoot Endpoint Security takes two of the effects which had to do with encryption and further details them in their article Data Encryption: Two Of The Six Lasting Legacies Of 2006 VA Data Breach. The lesson learned, prepare for a data breach with a battle plan and putting up the proper defenses.