Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Social Security Interoperability Update

A few years ago, I wrote about the groundbreaking Social Security Administration automated disability adjudication system, Megahit.

Patient sign a consent in their local social security office and that consent is digitally sent to BIDMC.   The appropriate medical information needed to support disability claims is automatically assembled and cryptographically transmitted to SSA.

Here are a few stats on the SSA/BIDMC partnership.  Since our 2008 go live, SSA has received 6,916 medical records from BIDMC (and 71,500 from hospitals and providers across the country) .  Of those, 663 BIDMC medical records  (and 7,624 from hospitals and providers across the country) triggered one or more of SSA’s business rules, which resulted in targeted decision support for SSA adjudicators, speeding the disability determinations process. Thus far in FY 2013, about 6 percent of disability cases in Massachusetts were decided within 48 hours. SSA has seen significant improvements in the disability determination process using health information exchange to obtain medical records.  In FY 2012, they lowered disability case processing time by approximately 23 percent for those cases containing medical records obtained through health information exchange.
When SSA receives electronic health records from a partner organization, such as BIDMC, there are many benefits:
faster disability determinations are possible for claimants,
quicker access to monthly cash benefits are possible, and
earlier access to medical insurance coverage is obtained.

Healthcare providers benefit from increased patient satisfaction rates,
reduced uncompensated care, reduced administrative costs associated with medical record requests, and
automated fiscal payments from SSA.

Here is the link to SSA’s health IT website, which provides additional information on the initiative.   It's been a very successful health information exchange project.

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