New VA Partnership for Electronic Health Information Exchange

Sara Heath | EHR Intelligence | November 11, 2016

The partnership will help the Social Security Administration access electronic health information from VA to process disability insurance claims.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration (SSA), and The Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange have partnered to exchange electronic health information for veterans looking to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, according to a press release. The health data exchange, which will be hosted on VA’s Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER), will help process VA patient requests for social security disability benefits.

The SSA requests almost 15 million medical records for the three million disability claims it processes annually. Enabling seamless, digital health data exchange will ideally save the administration time and money. “Currently, when eligible Veterans apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits the average wait time for Social Security to receive paper records from VA can take months,” said VA Undersecretary for Health David Schulkin, MD. “This partnership allows Social Security and VA to share the Veteran’s health information electronically in minutes.”

According to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the partnership is another step forward for VA interoperability. “This SSA-VA partnership is another example of VA’s leadership in interoperability efforts among federal partners,” McDonald said in a VA press release. “Increasing federal partnerships to improve operation and resource coordination across agencies is among VA’s 12 Breakthrough Priorities for 2016”...