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Social Security Administration Launches E-Health Info Exchange 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-the-kind-of-security-this-needs dept.
Lucas123 writes "In what could be the start of a national health information exchange system, the Social Security Administration became the first federal agency to go live with a public-private electronic health records information exchange that will cut wait time for 2.6 million Americans who apply for benefits each year by weeks or months. The electronic exchange runs on a database operated by a non-profit organization in Virginia and open-source software deployed at the Social Security Administration. 'The goal of the NHIN effort is to enable secure access to health care data and real-time information sharing among physicians, patients, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies and federal agencies ... regardless of location or the applications that are being used.'"
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Social Security Administration Launches E-Health Info Exchange

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  • Miscategory? (Score:2, Informative)

    by perlchild (582235) on Monday March 23, 2009 @12:17PM (#27299611)

    This should be in politics, not science.

  • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Monday March 23, 2009 @12:36PM (#27299931) Homepage

    When you file for long-term disability with Social Security, they need to grab all of the recent medical records from your primary physician and all the specialists you're seeing. This process takes a long time, generates a ton of redundant paperwork (many dupes of lab work and such that went to multiple places), and isn't very accurate. I went through this a few years ago with my mother. One of the physicians didn't respond in time to the request they sent for more information, stuff that was pretty critical. We believe that was one of the factors causing her initial claim and first appeal to be denied.

    That was over four years ago; her case is just coming up for the final review now. That's how big the backlog is here, and medical records processing time is one of the big drivers to the process.

    At the point where you're applying for Social Security disability, your medical records are no longer really private anyway. They're going to scour everything available to confirm that what's happened to you is both permanent and real.

  • Re:Do not want (Score:5, Informative)

    by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Monday March 23, 2009 @12:57PM (#27300313)
    This accurately describes how states currently handle immunization registries. The CDC sets up federal reporting guidelines, but each state has its own registry implementation. This leads to all sorts of fun when trying to do stuff like transfer records when people relocate to another state, or tracking disease infection rates across state lines.

    I'm not saying that having a national medical database is necessarily a good thing, but it's immeasurably better than having individual state repositories.
  • Re:Pill Heads (Score:4, Informative)

    by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Monday March 23, 2009 @01:05PM (#27300465)

    Hopefully this will keep those worthless Baby Boomers from prematurely bankrupting Social Security with multiple prescriptions for their endless psychological disorders and sports injuries.

    You were modded Troll, but you make a good point. Baby boomers have got to be the biggest pack of whiny, self-indulgent motherfuckers that ever lived on this planet. Even though they are all getting old now, they still act like a bunch of goddamn teenagers. The sooner they die off, the better America will be.

  • Re:Do not want (Score:5, Informative)

    by VE3OGG (1034632) <VE3OGG.rac@ca> on Monday March 23, 2009 @01:06PM (#27300475)

    While I agree with your sentiment about doctors (after all, their expertise is medical (chemistry, bio), not technical). However, I am betting that your comment about hospital info security is borne from not having worked in such an environment.

    Having run the IT side of a hospital's foundation, and having to interface with their network security, I can say that most definitely they are very competent with data security. Now mind you, this is in Canada -- but I doubt the competent sys admins are only born north of the border.

    Hospitals (and the several sys admins I have known that run them) are very much on top of their game -- even the the point of being a pain in the ass to work with (which is both good and bad). Many doctors and nurses absolutely hated the arcane network security protocols in place, but they worked, and the hospital network maintained triple-9 uptime.

    Take my anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt, but from my experience, hospital networks are QUITE secure.

  • That's a LOAD! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bunderfeld (1113805) on Monday March 23, 2009 @02:01PM (#27301307) Homepage
    Sorry friends, but this is just plain wrong.

    Being someone that has just finished going thru the whole damn Disability process, this is mis-information designed to make the SSA look good.

    The problem isn't that the records don't arrive in a timely manner, the real issue is the ridiculous way SSA goes about processing requests.

    After filing my Disability Claim, two months later, SSA asks me to go see one of their "approved" Doctors. I arrived for my appointment, was taken to an exam room, and when the Doctor came in was greeted with, "So, what brings you to my office?" I had to explain to him I was here for a Disability exam. He asked me why I was in pain, to which I replied I had ACM (http://www.wacma.com) and he said, "What's that?" This is when I figured out the government sent me to a Physiarist (Muscle Doctor) when my issues are Neurological. This Doctor gave me a10 minute exam, not even a Neurological Exam, and then said "Thanks, you can leave". Of course, his report claimed I was fine, and of course, SSA denied my claim.

    After this I filed my appeal, got an attorney to handle it, and waited, and waited, and waited. Three years went by, and finally I got my Disability Hearing this past February. I received my Disability Hearing Results in 2 weeks, and was found to be fully Disabled and part of the record reads that the Judge gave NO WEIGHT to the Govt., Doctor because he didn't exam me correctly.

    The facts speak clearly for themselves. 99% of the first filing for Disability are Denied. Those that file an appeal, 75% are approved. The problem, and of course this is govt. so that explains a lot, is that the SSA is denying claims hoping to get rid of the fakers, but then making millions of people wait for hearings when they know they are disabled.

    Sorry, this "getting records" quickly BS won't make anything quicker, knowing the govt,. it will somehow slow it down.

    One last fact for you to chew on, when I got notice of my Hearing, it was 30 days before the hearing. The Court and Atty., were able to received updated Medical Records from my Hospital and Doctors in a timely manner and were there quickly enough to be added into the record and burned on a CD. Not sure why they now claim they don't get records in a timely manner.



    Bob

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