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The Social Security Administration has launched a new health information technology initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs enabling all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA sites.

Social Security requests approximately 15 million medical records annually from healthcare providers and organizations to make medical decisions on about 3 million disability claims. The agency previously has obtained medical records manually via mail, fax or secure mail.

This new initiative institutes an automated process to obtain medical records electronically, according to a statement from the Social Security Administration.

The new partnership will allow veterans to receive a quicker decision on their Social Security disability claim as well as reduce cost and time by offering an automatic request through the eHealth exchange.

The Health IT program was tested at Social Security locations throughout the United States and on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the exchange will go live to all Social Security disability case processing sites.

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