Social Security Approves EHR Interoperability Technology - InformationWeek

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Government // Enterprise Architecture

Social Security Approves EHR Interoperability Technology

Health IT firm EHR Doctors gets clearance for its C32 Continuity of Care Document, which enables hospitals and doctors to achieve meaningful use in the electronic exchange of medical data.

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As the quest to advance the electronic exchange of medical records continues, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has approved the C32 Continuity of Care Document (CCD) technology developed by health IT firm EHR Doctors. The technology enables an interoperable health record to be shared among organizations for purposes ranging from transitions in care to adjudication of insurance claims.

Executives from EHR Doctors said Sunday the capability to generate CCDs is a critical piece of technology that will help hospitals and eligible physicians meet meaningful use requirements, which is a prerequisite to apply for payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. EHR Doctors' CCD technology is certified for meaningful use under the Office of the National Coordinator -- Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATB) program.

Social Security commissioner Michael Astrue said in a statement that the technology, has the ability to "improve our disability programs and provide better service to the public. The use of health IT will dramatically improve the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of this process, reducing the cost of making a disability decision for both the medical community and the American taxpayer."

Headquartered in Pompano Beach, Fla., EHR Doctors provides EHR software and health information exchange (HIE) solutions to healthcare providers. In March 2010, the company, along with fifteen other healthcare providers, health IT systems integrators, and networks, won a contract to build SSA's EHR system.

Under that contract, SSA uses EHR Doctors' Medibridge HIE to electronically gather health records in support of disability claims and transmit them to SSA adjudicators. EHR Doctors delivers medical records in CCD format to SSA over the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN). The agency sends more than 15 million requests annually for medical records to healthcare providers.

The latest news builds on the partnership between SSA and EHR Doctors, said both organizations.

"Our unique approach to health IT and health information exchange will provide our partner hospitals with a valuable system for a fraction of the cost," Gerard Reeder, president of EHR Doctors, said in a statement. "This contract with Social Security is a remarkable opportunity to demonstrate the power of health IT to transform healthcare at every level."

The CCD is a standard developed by HL7, a health IT standards body. The document consists of textual information which ensures human interpretation of the document contents and structured parts which allows for software processing. The structured part is based on the HL7 reference information model (RIM) and provides a framework for referring to concepts from coding systems from various medical vocabularies, including the International Classification of Diseases (ICD9), Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC).


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