Insurers To Provide Personal Health Records
Health insurance industry representatives on Wednesday announced that they have developed a portable, Web-based personal health record model that contains members' claims and administrative data, as well as core health information, Healthcare IT News reports (Pizzi, Healthcare IT News, 12/13).
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and America's Health Insurance Plans want their member companies by 2008 to provide their customers with the new standard-based PHRs, InformationWeek reports. The organizations represent companies providing insurance to 200 million U.S. residents.
The organizations estimate that about 70 million U.S. residents now have access to PHRs through payers, but the data are not standardized and vary between companies. The new industry model PHR includes portability standards that would let consumers transfer data if they change health insurers.
In addition to claims data, the PHRs would include patient medical histories, immunizations, allergies, medications, risks and care plans. Consumers also could add other information, such as their family medical history.
A BCBS spokesperson said insurer PHRs are not a substitute for providers' use of electronic health records. "We hope our work is a building block for when we have a fully interoperable national health information network," she said.
Interim National Coordinator for Health IT Robert Kolodner in a statement said, "Efforts such as those by health insurance plans to provide consumers with portable PHRs are a step forward in the national health IT agenda" (Kolbasuk McGee, InformationWeek, 12/13).
AHIP and BCBS with the National Health Council members will pilot the new PHRs in two areas of the country (Health Data Management, 12/13).