Through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) work together to reduce the overall time it takes for a Soldier to progress through the IDES process. This is done by using a single, examination process that meets the needs of both the DoD and VA and increasing transparency of the military disability evaluation system and VA claims processes for wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and their Families. The IDES process identifies all medical and/or behavioral health conditions that impact military occupational function for the purposes of determining fitness for duty and entitlement to military and/or VA disability compensation. RHC-A has been at the forefront of Army Medicine's efforts in improving the IDES process.
Regional military treatment facilities (MTFs) provide remote IDES support to include narrative summaries, independent medical reviews, appeals, etc. throughout not only RHC-A but U.S. Army Medical Command. This 100-percent virtual process allows for more timely support to Soldiers by allowing IDES staff to complete their task from anywhere and manage medical boards no matter their location. The virtual process was primarily developed to assist with aged and backlogged cases. After benefiting from immediate improvements, RHC-A expanded remote support to all of its sites by coordinating MTFs with limited medical evaluation board staff to those facilities with MEB staff who can assist. Since implementation, RHC-A has ensured Soldiers are effectively and accurately process through IDES in less than 295 days, exceeding the MEDCOM/Army goal.
In support of the Army's effort to improve medical board processing, RHC-A and our VA partners have made significant progress. We are committed to working through challenges with our VA partners to ensure our Soldiers and Veterans receive the benefits they deserve.