Cerner announced a new agreement with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), to help simplify patient disability benefits claims through secure, clinical electronic health record (EHR) retrieval from health systems.
The new agreement between Cerner and the SSA aims to speed the transfer of relevant, patient-directed medical records from the health system to the SSA, potentially cutting transfer times from weeks or months to seconds or minutes.
Each year, the SSA requests more than 15 million medical records from healthcare providers to help make decisions on more than 4 million disability claims. Currently, most of the medical records SSA receives are in the form of faxed or mailed scanned images, a cumbersome process and the most frequent source of delay in the disability determination process.
“Cerner is proud to help the federal government better support those in need by getting them the benefits they are entitled to more quickly and efficiently,” said Sam Lambson, Vice President of Interoperability, Cerner. “SSA’s work with Cerner will help streamline the process and is an important example of how systems that connect to each other can help improve our health and quality of life.”
Some people with disabilities have lower levels of self-reported health and quality of life than those who do not have a disability. Faster disability decisions can help alleviate socioeconomic challenges for families through quicker access to monthly cash benefits. It can also mean fewer consultative medical examinations plus earlier access to medical insurance coverage and other social service benefits.
Cerner and SSA’s collaboration to automate data aims to ease administrative burdens, reduce costs and labor and eliminate the mailing of paper records. It also creates other potential benefits for healthcare providers:
- Reduce uncompensated care since faster disability determinations may result in patients having quicker access to Medicare and Medicaid benefits
- Automate payments from SSA
- Improve patient satisfaction
Cerner will pilot the solution with three of its clients in the months ahead and plans to expand the offering to additional clients who elect to participate.
Cerner is committed to working in the federal space as a health technology provider. Cerner is currently supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Coast Guard to modernize their EHR systems.