Social Security announced that $17.4 million in contracts funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were awarded to 15 healthcare providers and networks to provide electronic medical records. The electronic medical records will be sent to the agency through the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) in order to reduce the time it takes to make a disability decision. The NHIN, an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services, is a safe and secure method for accessing electronic medical records over the Internet.
"Using health information technology will improve our disability programs and provide better service to the public," Commissioner Astrue said. "We've seen a significant increase in disability applications. To process them, the agency sends more than 15 million requests annually for medical records to healthcare providers. This largely paper-bound workload is generally the most time-consuming part of the disability decision process. 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."
Social Security has been successfully testing health IT to obtain electronic medical records over the past year. Disability applications processed with electronic medical records from test sites in Massachusetts and Virginia have significantly reduced processing times. Some decisions are shortened from weeks or months to just days. More information on Social Security health IT is available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/hit.
Contracts were awarded to the following organizations:
Cal RHIO, San Francisco, CA - $1,625,000
CareSpark, Kingsport, TN - $1,363,000
Center for Healthy Communities, Wright State University, Healthlink, Dayton, OH - $999,000
Central Virginia Health Network/MedVirginia, Richmond, VA - $1,139,000
Community Health Information Collaborative (CHIC), Duluth, MN - $977,000
Douglas County Individual Practice Association, Roseburg, OR - $502,000
EHR Doctors Inc., Pompano Beach, FL - $1,000,000
HealthBridge, Cincinnati, OH - $1,400,000
Lovelace Clinic Foundation (LCF), Albuquerque, NM - $1,083,000
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI - $998,000
Memorial Hospital Foundation & Memorial Hospital of Gulfport Foundation, Inc., Gulfport, MS - $1,100,000
Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN), Portland, OR - $284,000
Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN - $350,000
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Reston, VA - $1,587,000
Southeastern Michigan Health Association, Detroit, MI - $2,988,000