VA to focus on suicide prevention, electronic health records and caregiver benefits in 2020

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The Department of Veterans Affairs says it plans to prioritize benefits for certain Agent Orange-exposed veterans, veteran suicide prevention, a new electronic health record system and caregiver benefits in 2020.

VA spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci described them as 2020 “milestones” for VA.

Agent Orange

In January, “VA will do something past administrations did not: begin deciding presumptive claims for Blue Water Navy veterans,” Mandreucci told Connecting Vets.

Suicide prevention

In March, VA plans to submit the “PREVENTS national roadmap to prevent veteran suicide” to the White House, Mandreucci said.

Electronic health records

VA plans to “go live” with a new electronic health record system in March at five sites: the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. and its four community clinics, Mandreucci said.

The new electronic health records are planned to be universal — a single health record to follow a service member throughout their career and after and be available to any care provider they might see.


By summer 2020, Mandreucci said VA plans to make caregiver benefits available for veterans injured on or before May 7, 1975 “finally making these important benefits available to veterans from the Vietnam era,” she said.

VA already missed the Oct. 1, 2019 deadline to roll out assistance to pre-9/11 veterans’ caregivers, delaying the expansion of the caregiver program to this summer at the earliest.

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