On August 7th, the Social Security Administration announced the availability of $24 million in contracts to provide SSA with electronic medical records to improve the efficiency of its disability programs. With health IT, SSA will be able to expand their disability workload of more than 15 million patient-authorized requests for medical information from healthcare providers. Presently, it takes weeks and months to gather the information and by SSA using HIT, the agency will be able to automate both the authorized request and receipt of data in seconds and minutes plus be able to better analyze the data.
In February 2009, SSA partnered with MedVirginia on the first productive use of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) to make requests and receive electronic health records. The initiative improved the speed of disability decisions made in the pilot offices.
Through a Request for Proposal, SSA 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. The contracts will require awardees to send Social Security electronic medical records through NHIN.
The contracts will be awarded under a full and open competitive fixed-price RFP and funded through ARRA. The response date is September 18, 2009. For more details on RFP_10_1001, go to www.fbo.gov. For more information on SSA’s use of health IT, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/hit.