Social Security is always finding new ways to provide world-class service. Social Security started receiving Service member, Veteran, and eligible family members medical records electronically from the Department of Defense (DoD) using health information technology (health IT) leveraging the eHealth Exchange. This latest improvement speeds processing times of disability applications. The disability case processing sites can receive medical records from DoD almost instantaneously.
We have added the DoD to the 50 plus other health IT partners across the U.S. in more than 7,000 facilities that provide us with electronic health record (EHR) data. More and more facilities across the nation are implementing EHR systems.
Obtaining medical evidence is critical to the disability determination process. Social Security requests more than 15 million medical records from almost 500,000 providers to make decisions on approximately three million disability claims annually. As EHR systems mature and health IT grows between organizations and across the country, we are able to help more people through the disability determination process while also improving services to the non-military public. Health IT partnership benefits include:
- a more efficient means of obtaining medical records;
- improvement in the rate of responses received;
- consistently formatted records;
- reducing paper based processes; and
- potentially reducing the total time it takes to adjudicate disability claims.
Our goal is to continue expanding the number of healthcare organizations and federal agencies providing EHRs to us within a safe and secure electronic environment.
To learn more about our health IT initiative, please visit our website.