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WASHINTON D.C. — The Social Security Administration announced June 25 that Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers, will electronically transmit complete medical records for its patients to the agency with the appropriate consent. Social Security requests about 70,000 patient files from Kaiser Permanente each year.

The SSA had entered similar agreements with several smaller providers to exchange medical records electronically over the Nationwide Health Information Network. This is the agency’s first large-scale agreement.

Commissioner of Social Security Michael J. Astrue said the announcement is the most significant improvement in the disability determination process since the program started in 1956.

“It today’s world it makes no sense for us to chase down paper records on an individual basis,” he said.

To learn more about Social Security’s use of health IT, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/hit.

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