SSA: Access to PHRs Could Benefit All

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is interested in developing a fully automated system to enable them to electronically retrieve information from personal health care records (PHRs). In a Nov. 20 request for information special notice, the SSA sought to identify possible sources who could assist in developing a prototype.

The SSA receives and processes applications for disability benefits from more than 2.5 million individuals annually. According to the SSA, the paper trail can be a very slow and arduous process. The ability to electronically obtain the sort of information they require from claimants, most of which already exists in PHRs, would be more efficient and accurate, the SSA said.

By law, the SSA can only request and receive information contained in PHRs for claimants who authorize consent.

PHR software vendors, health information technology software service vendors, providers, and payers that host PHRs had until Dec. 11 to respond.

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4 Responses to “SSA: Access to PHRs Could Benefit All”

  1. Darlene says:

    I personally feel that they should have no access to the information even with permission. This is just another way for the government to control people’s lives.

    If the patient is under review, then send that patient for another disability exam, not just read all of their medical records. Just my thoughts.

  2. Mary Garner says:

    Determining disability is no different than determining insurability. If PHRs are open to one entity w/o signatures the next step would be for all insurance companies to claim the same right. I realize in this day and age to get the insurance you have to sign the release, however that still gives me implied control over my personal and health information.

  3. Lois Rockwell says:

    I agree with the other two comments and I feel that the SSA is wanting the records to find a way not to pay the disability benefits. Using the patients records against them by saying this could have been prevented. The healthcare system to me looks like a piece of pie and everyone wants a piece of it. There are too many people already with their hands in the pie.

  4. Sherry Steigerwald says:

    The Gov. is big enough and has enough info on most of it’s citizens without furhter intrusion to the most private of information, that of one’s health issues. To open that door to one entity is like opening a Pandora’s box, they’ll be no stopping the flow of nformation of medical records to any interested party, disregarding the protection of HIPPA.

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