From a report by Social Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG):
Despite challenges, SSA [Social Security Administration] continued expanding health IT [Information Technology] and partnered with 38 health care organizations, exchanged electronic records in 30 States and the District of Columbia, and identified ways of enhancing health IT case processing and data analytics. In addition, the DDSs [Disability Determination Services] reported they were generally satisfied with MEGAHIT (Medical Evidence Gathering and Analysis Through Health IT); however, some suggested enhancements to the system. Some DDSs also reported MEGAHIT issues that the Agency did not know about, despite SSA previously soliciting DDS user feedback.
Finally, our review of 275 sample cases found (a) that MEGAHIT received electronic health records 19 days faster than traditional records and (b) SSA made disability decisions, on average, 21 days faster, in the 5 cases where only health IT records were requested.
RecommendationsBefore anyone gets too excited about this, it's something that works best only when dealing with huge medical providers. In fact, that's the only way it works now since huge medical providers are the only ones using MEGAHIT. However, the vast majority of disability claimants receive at least part of their evaluation and treatment from smaller medical providers. Getting those records is mostly a matter of sending a written request through the mail and receiving a written response through the mail. That's not changing any time soon. MEGAHIT won't make those cases move any faster.
- Continue to solicit, on a regular basis, DDS user feedback in MEGAHIT enhancements.
- Enhance procedures to maintain and update MEGAHIT partner data, such as addresses.
- Enhance methods to improve the use of information received via Health IT.
- Increase health IT partners — taking advantage of nation-wide Federal efforts led by Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. SSA agreed with the recommendations.