SS Disability Fail

After weeks of aggravation I finally uploaded two patient records in response to requests from the Social Security Administration Division of Disability Services. First, I faxed them a form I use to ask which of several types of records they wanted and in what format. Most of my current records are not even in my possession but exist on a server somewhere it the cloud. I still have a manilla folder with some paper records, and the patient account records and buprenorphine log exist elsewhere in the cloud.

Did not compute: When I called after a few days to inquire as to whether DDS had received, and might respond to, my request, Curtis T. responded as though I had attempted to send the records themselves. After two more attempts he finally acknowledged receiving my request, but never responded directly. In essence he just suggested that I send everything.

I contacted my EMR vendor to inquire how I might send a complete copy of the electronic file or whether we might grant DDS access. They denied having capability for granting read-only access to a single patient file but told me how to download a .ccr (complete clinical record?) file. DDS compensates physicians for providing such records by the page, but when I asked the vendor and DDS how I should count pages in a .ccr file, I once again heard the unmistakable sound of cluelessness. Not to worry, though, since I soon discovered that .ccr is not among the file formats I can upload to the DDS Web site anyway.

Jenilee T. at DDS provided credentials and a user guide. I scanned all the paper records into one file, but this exceeded the 50 megabyte limit, so we had to rescan in thirds. I exported most of the EMR in .pdf format and eventually uploaded all, along with an invoice, which DDS has yet to pay in full.

Though CMS has strongly encouraged physicians to adopt electronic records, no one seems to have informed this seemingly closely related agency of the same federal government. The negligence, incompetence and waste continue. With the medical record accessible in the cloud involving the physician in this process serves no purpose.

By the way, if a patient gets Medicare Part B which can accompany Social Security Disability, I will discharge her from my practice.

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