In an article last Friday Healthcare IT News reported that the Social Security Administration has allocated $24 million to help speed up the disability determination process by way of electronic file transfer.
Following is an excerpt from the article:
Michael Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, said the agency is looking for healthcare providers, provider networks and health information exchanges to participate in its Medical Evidence Gathering and Analysis through Health Information Technology program.
Astrue said health IT will improve the efficiency of a process which is largely paper-bound. For nearly a year, he said, Social Security has been testing health IT to obtain electronic medical records. Disability applications processed with electronic medical records from test sites in Massachusetts and Virginia have significantly reduced processing times, he said.
“With these competitive contracts, Social Security continues to be a leader in the use of health IT to improve service to the American public,” Astrue said. “This technology will greatly improve the speed and consistency of our disability decisions.”
If you remember back at the end of June, we wrote a blog post on the Social Security Administration testing this process out in select areas in Virginia and the possibility of this coming to North Carolina soon.
With the commitment of $24 million, it seems like the Social Security Administration feels like this is the future of Social Security Disability determination. Hopefully this commitment will yield faster decisions in the future.