[news] Social Security Claims from 100 Days down to 48 Hours Using Health IT, EMR

Date: 05.15.2013 | Zach Urbina">Zach Urbina

The Wright State Research Institute has developed a software system that officials say will expedite the U.S. Social Security Administration’s disability claims process. The health information system could reduce the eligibility decision time from 100 days to 48 hours by using electronic medical records.

Right now, the average time between applying for Social Security disability and finding out if you are eligible is more than 100 days, according to the Social Security Administration.

“We are literally at the forefront of changing the way that health information technology interacts with us as health care consumers,” said Aaron Miller, health information technology program manager for the Wright State Research Institute.

Wright State researchers developed the regional health information exchange, called HealthLink, under a $750,000 contract awarded in 2010 by the Social Security Administration.

Wright State was one of 15 health care providers and networks who received a total of $17.4 million contracts to provide electronic medical records to the agency. The awards were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The use of health IT will dramatically improve the speed, accuracy and efficiency of this process, reducing the cost of making a disability decision for both the medical community and the American taxpayer,” said Michael J. Astrue, Social Security commissioner.

HealthLink was launched in December 2011 with a pilot group of 500 doctors from Wright State Physicians in Ohio and Centennial Family Medicine in Oregon. During the successful nine-month trial, HealthLink processed an average of one Social Security determination request per doctor each month with no glitches, Miller said.

More than 11 million Americans receive some form of disability benefits from Social Security and millions more have applied and are waiting to find out if they are eligible, according to agency officials.

via Dayton Daily News | continue reading

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