Group Considers Proposal To Expand Internet-Based Medical Records Program for Migrant Workers
Rural Community Assistance, a not-for-profit organization, this week is considering a plan to expand a program that provides Internet-based medical records to 2,000 migrant workers in Sonoma County, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the proposal, Rural Community Assistance also will consider upgrading the software to facilitate further expansions statewide (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 10/9). The program, called Visitantes Información Acceso, will let migrant workers store information from previous physician or hospital visits, including prescriptions, immunization records and contact information for the last physician and clinic visited. Workers participating in the project also will receive an e-mail account, an ID card and dedicated server space for storing their medical records (California Healthline, 5/21). California's more than 700,000 migrant workers "suffer disproportionately" from chronic health conditions, a recent report from the California Institute of Rural Studies found, according to the Times. As they travel, migrant workers often receive tests and treatments that they have already received in part because their medical records are not easily accessible by physicians at new locations, contributing to some workers' decision to avoid seeking care altogether. Migrant health organizations in Texas, Florida, Kansas and other states also have expressed interest in the program. CMS, which is examining migrant workers' health issues for Congress, and the Mexican government also have indicated interest in the program (Los Angeles Times, 10/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.