The Social Security Administration has awarded $17.4 million in contracts to 15 provider organizations or health information exchanges to aid in the transfer of electronic health records to the agency.

The contracts were awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which appropriated $40 million to Social Security for health I.T. initiatives.

Social Security wants to use health I.T. to obtain electronic health records data for individuals seeking disability benefits. The agency annually sends more than 15 million requests for medical records to providers. Getting that data through manual processes can take weeks or months.

Contracted organizations will use the emerging national health information network to send electronic records to Social Security. The agency in 2009 tested electronic records transmittal in Massachusetts and Virginia. Contracts were awarded to the following organizations:

   1.  CalRHIO, San Francisco, CA - $1,625,000
   2. CareSpark, Kingsport, TN - $1,363,000
   3. Center for Healthy Communities, Wright State University, Healthlink, Dayton, OH - $999,000
   4. Central Virginia Health Network/MedVirginia, Richmond, VA - $1,139,000
   5. Community Health Information Collaborative (CHIC), Duluth, MN - $977,000
   6. Douglas County Individual Practice Association, Roseburg, OR - $502,000
   7. EHR Doctors Inc., Pompano Beach, FL - $1,000,000
   8. HealthBridge, Cincinnati, OH - $1,400,000
   9. Lovelace Clinic Foundation (LCF), Albuquerque, NM - $1,083,000
  10. Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI - $998,000
  11. Memorial Hospital Foundation & Memorial Hospital of Gulfport Foundation, Inc., Gulfport, MS - $1,100,000
  12. Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN), Portland, OR - $284,000
  13. Regenstrief Institute, Inc, Indianapolis, IN - $350,000
  14. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Reston, VA - $1,587,000
  15. Southeastern Michigan Health Association, Detroit, MI - $2,988,000

More information on Social Security's health I.T. efforts is available at socialsecurity.gov/hit.

--Joseph Goedert

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