The U.S. Social Security Administration has added Kaiser Permanente to a list that includes 13 other organizations with which it intends to electronically exchange information to speed up disability determinations.
In recent years, the administration has developed exchange relationships with "several smaller providers" to transfer information using file-sharing protocols of the Nationwide Health Information Network, but the Kaiser agreement "marks the agency's first move into using health information technology on a large-scale basis," according to Social Security news release.
"I am confident that people will look back at today's announcement as the most significant improvement in our disability determination process since the program began in 1956," said Michael Astrue, commissioner of Social Security, in the release. "In today's world it makes no sense for us to chase down paper records on an individual basis. We are thrilled that Kaiser Permanente is now one of our key agents for change."