Disability Determinations and Personal Health Records

Disability Determinations and Personal Health Records

Elaine A. Blechman (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch098
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Abstract

Newly disabled workers are often unemployed, uninsured, and indigent. They are in desperate need of Social Security OASDI monthly benefits, and the Medicare health insurance that follows 24 months after benefits begin. Applicants must prove that their medical conditions (excluding drug and alcohol abuse) have resulted in severe functional limitations that prevent them from any gainful employment. Delays and denials of benefits result when applicants cannot find or retrieve medical records from providers familiar with their medical history, health status, and functional limitations. The disability application workflow is complex, particularly for applicants with cognitive and mental health impairments. Health information technology (HIT) has been used to automate care delivery workflow through provider-controlled, electronic health record systems (EHRs). Disability applicants’ workflow could, just as well, be automated through consumer-controlled, unbound, and intelligent personal electronic health record systems (PHRs), which are not tethered to a health plan or employer network, and which automatically exchange information updates with authorized providers’ EHRs. Applicants’ PHRs may later prove helpful with self-management of chronic conditions prior to Medicare coverage and with periodic reevaluations of their medical status.

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