The Military Health System (MHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are streamlining the way they share medical data for disability benefit claims adjudication.
The collaborative effort, which began in 2009, focuses on upgrades in the short and long terms. The short-term approach reduces the response time for the DoD to provide medical data electronically and securely to SSA by leveraging existing DoD and SSA legacy information technology systems and data-sharing capabilities, according to an article in Health.mil News. This solution, in use in every eligible SSA state Disability Determination Service (DDS) office since 2012, allows for speedier adjudication of claims.
The long-term approach builds on the wide-ranging capabilities of the Virtual Electronic Lifetime Record (VELR) Health Initiative and the eHealth Exchange. The VLER is the largest health-information exchange infrastructure in the U.S.; eHealth Exchange participants represent 40% of all U.S. hospitals, tens of thousands of medical groups, more than 8,000 pharmacies, and 100 million patients.
The DoD and SSA went live with the enhanced capabilities in 2015, starting with Maryland. Earlier this year, SSA completed implementation of the DoD/SSA eHealth Exchange capability in every DDS office in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and 4 U.S. territories.