Transforming Veteran Outreach

VA & Palantir improve care enrollment for Veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

Toxic burn pit exposures prompted the passage of the PACT Act in August 2022. Named in honor of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act ensures disability benefits and access to VA healthcare for millions of Veterans exposed to toxins during the wars in Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and other post-9/11 combat zones. Veterans can find more information about the PACT Act and how it affects their healthcare and benefits at

The PACT Act represents the most substantial expansion of Veteran healthcare eligibility and benefits in recent years, and its implementation required the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to overcome significant logistical hurdles. To provide care and benefits to the newly-eligible population, VA had to streamline historically isolated data systems, notify all eligible Veterans of their earned care while safeguarding data privacy, and promote improved communication and coordination across VA offices.

VA partnered with Palantir to build a platform to address these challenges by:

  1. Integrating previously siloed personnel information to deploy a digital representation of the real-world registration outreach process, all in a secure way
  2. Enabling outreach coordinators to build customized messaging to targeted cohorts of individuals
  3. Implementing centralized organization of requests for outreach messaging
  4. Providing visibility into the success of each outreach campaign for tracking and continuous improvement

This has enabled the VA to reach hundreds of thousands of Veterans with tailored messaging about the PACT Act. It has made a difference — after a recent messaging campaign, for example, 1,800 Vietnam Veterans, eligible under the PACT Act, registered for VA healthcare for the first time.

Integrating previously siloed Veteran information

The platform provides tools to identify Veterans to contact, centralize the approval process for planned communications, and automate campaign development and success tracking. This method can increase cost efficiency by targeting messaging to only those Veterans who can act upon it. By enabling more precise communication with intended populations, the VA achieves greater enrollment compared to the general unenrolled population. Ultimately, the VA is saving resources while focusing on the most crucial aspect: enhancing the healthcare of our nation’s Veterans.

In order to operationalize a solution to reach and enroll eligible Veterans, millions of data points from across VA had to be unified. By consolidating this extensive data, the process of obtaining a comprehensive view of unaffiliated, unenrolled, or non-beneficiary PACT Act-eligible Veterans was significantly simplified. The platform integrates service records, demographics, benefits, contact, and other relevant information to portray an accurate depiction of the eligible Veteran population. The utilization status surfaced crucial characteristics of Veterans’ healthcare enrollment status and eligible benefits, helping identify unenrolled Veterans. This allowed VA to develop targeted approaches that have become a cornerstone for Veteran outreach — purposefully reaching the right unenrolled Veterans for the correct reason. As a result, the platform recently supported the VA in sending hundreds of thousands of tailored emails to Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans, informing them of their specific benefits.

Ensuring the security of Veteran information

In coordination with VA’s technical leadership, Palantir implemented security measures in the platform. This collaborative approach resulted in robust and secure access requirements to ensure only necessary information was shared with users through the automated development and distribution of outreach campaign materials. This enabled necessary coordination across teams while ensuring protection of Veteran’s data privacy.

As depicted in the diagram below, all data sources integrated into the platform are stored within a secure layer, accessible only to those authorized to view PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Protected Health Information). This data is subsequently consolidated into a unified repository for all PACT Act outreach efforts.

The platform further refines this data into operational aggregations, facilitating key field decision-making processes while preserving data privacy. Once decisions are finalized, instructions are relayed back to the PII/PHI layer to initiate direct outreach. Afterward, the data is compiled once more to offer success metrics feedback to field teams on their outreach efficacy.

Operationalizing modules

Enabling Targeted Campaigns

Leveraging a robust data foundation, the platform enables VA staff at both local and national levels to efficiently reach these Veterans and track the impact of their outreach efforts in a fully automated manner. This process provides insight into Veterans who enroll in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) healthcare or submit claims through Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), improving the coordination between local and national offices. Previously, there was limited visibility into communication efforts, often causing overlap and unintended burden for recipients. This approach minimizes duplicate messages and ensures targeted communication for each Veteran’s unique situation.

The platform equips Public Affairs Officers in the field at hundreds of VHA facilities with key insights about PACT Act-eligible Veterans in their area. It pinpoints hotspots for future outreach and empowers Public Affairs Officers to request direct communication, streamlining the process.

Streamlining Direct Outreach

The platform enables decentralized local outreach while providing centralized controls and governance for improved coordination across VA offices. This feature streamlines the approval process for each individual outreach request, promoting efficient PACT Act-related direct outreach efforts to Veterans. Local VA staff can request bespoke direct outreach, such as informing unaffiliated Veterans about enrollment events at local venues, which are then sent to relevant approvers and coordinators for review. Once approved, only specific users gain access to essential information required for outreach. After message delivery, local VA staff can analyze the effectiveness of their communication efforts by tracking, for instance, the number of Veterans contacted who actually enrolled in VHA healthcare.

Results Tracking and Continuous Improvement

The platform’s built-in functionalities for monitoring and measuring the success of each outreach campaign have provided valuable insights for ongoing and future campaign development. By tracking VHA enrollment and new claims submitted to VBA, VA can now reduce Veteran communication exhaustion and leverage data-driven analytics to assess performance.

The platform provides Public Affairs Officers with a comprehensive view of all outreach coordinated through their facility, including events, direct outreach, and resulting enrollments and claims. Alongside outreach campaigns accessible to VA teams involved in direct communication with Veterans, this module has been a game-changer in gaining insights from these campaigns, allowing for constant improvement in their approach.

What’s Next?

With this platform in hand, VA has elevated its outreach capabilities, fostering even greater positive impact on Veterans moving forward. The transformation from transactional Veteran communication to impactful Veteran outreach has been made possible with this support. As the system enables VA engagement with PACT Act-eligible Veterans, it underscores the vital need for streamlined data integration, coordinated actions for optimal results, and reliable evaluation of essential success metrics. The PACT Act ensures that Veterans and their survivors have access to the healthcare and benefits they deserve. VA can now be confident that these Veterans are made aware of the benefits they rightfully earned.


Dan Matthews, Deployment Strategist, Palantir

Transforming Veteran Outreach was originally published in Palantir Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.