First live electronic medical record exchange system used to process disability claims in the United States was launched by Wellogic and MedVirginia, who are working with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). The highlighted the benefits of the same. Wellogic’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) utilization had helped the SSA to reduced the amount of time and effort to prepare, receive, and process patient medical records supporting disability claims from months to days. The initiative, part of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) Cooperative, first began exchanging live patient data in February, starting with this service.
The SSA requests and receives electronic patient medical records from Wellogic partner MedVirginia’s National Health Information Exchange (nHIE) over the NHIN. When requested and with the proper authorizations and patient consent established, Wellogic’s exchange assembles the relevant information from MedVirginia’s 150 plus hospitals and practices, and securely delivers the supporting patient information back to the SSA via a standards-based electronic clinical summary. SSA processing time was considerably reduced with the new system with additional benefits such as reduction in care delivery costs, more responsive and timely care, and contribution to patient satisfaction. According to the SSA, the average processing time for disability claims has dropped from 83 days to 32 days when such electronic medical records are used. Given that the SSA processes about 2.6 million patient disability claims per year using medical records obtained from doctors, hospitals, and other care providers, and that for our nation’s financially challenged hospitals alone such labor-intensive administrative overheads average over twenty-three percent of their operating costs, the bottom-line benefit for both the SSA and care providers is significant.