Building on the positive momentum generated by SSA commissioner Michael Astrue's September announcement of the first decrease in pending Social Security Disability hearings in over a decade, the Federal government now seems to be making a big push towards a new method of increasing efficiency in healthcare: the implementation of electronic record keeping.
Leading the charge is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has a system in place that allows VA staff to access “e-filed” patient health records from upwards of 1,400 veteran hospitals across the country. Now, the Obama Administration is putting pressure on other healthcare providers by making electronic record keeping a prerequisite for a share of over $17 billion in government stimulus spending.
Further, and perhaps more relevantly, Tech Insider reported yesterday that the Social Security Administration is now paying medical providers 15 dollars per to submit a medical records requested for SSA hearings electronically.
Hopefully, this trend will continue to build on last year's progress by continuing to increase the speed and efficiency with which the SSA can handle disability applications, and thereby even further reduce the hearing backlog.