"Using health information technology will improve our disability programs and provide better service to the public," 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."
An initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services supported by multiple government agencies and private sector entities, the use of NHIN requires patient authorization. Social Security expects to receive more than 3.3 million applications in fiscal year (FY) 2010, a 27 percent increase over FY 2008.
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
Agency proposals for the authorized release of medical information through integration with NHIN had to have been submitted to Social Security by a September 18, 2009 deadline.