Many U.S. disability insurers still have trouble scanning medical records and other documents into their claims systems.

Researchers at ClaimVantage Inc., Portland, Maine, a disability claims software company, and JHA Inc., Portland, Maine, a disability insurance consulting firm, have published data on that weakness in a summary of an informal survey of 23 disability carriers and plan administrators.

Although 33% of participating carriers said they have frequently updated systems from outside vendors, 77% are using aging “legacy” systems or a combination of legacy systems and modern vendor systems, ClaimVantage researchers report.

Only 41% of the disability claims systems can handle images, and adding document imaging capabilities is the top “wish list item” for the participating companies without imaging capabilities, the researchers report.

Although 54% of the carriers said they are happy with their claims systems, 46% said they believe their current systems are making their operations less productive.

About 40% of the carriers told the researchers that they feel as if internal information technology teams are too busy with other projects to provide much support for disability claims operations.