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Medicare To Kick Off New Personal Health Records Program

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is launching a personal health records (PHR) pilot in Arizona and Utah this month. Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy will announce the launch of the Medicare PHR Choice program in a press conference.

The press conference will take place on January 13, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. (MST), in the Salt Lake City Public Library in Downtown Salt Lake City. Deputy Secretary Troy will be available after the press conference for additional questions from the media.

Beginning this month, beneficiaries can sign up for the new program. Medicare Choice Personal Health Records pilot will be first of Its kind for Medicare beneficiaries.

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Deputy Secretary Troy will join Utah partners to launch new pilot program for Medicare beneficiaries living in Arizona and Utah and discuss the benefits of personal health records, the new Medicare PHR Choice program, and the continued vision for modernizing the U.S. health care system.

Beginning on January 13, Medicare is launching the Medicare Personal Health Record Program for people with Original Medicare in Arizona and Utah. The pilot program will help people more fully manage their health care by automatically adding Medicare claims information regularly to their existing personal health record (PHR).

PHRs are tools that can help consumers manage their health and health care services and are under the control of the consumer or patient. Sometimes it only contains data entered by the individual or his or her provider, but it can also include information from a health plan – as is the case in this pilot, where Medicare will provide health information from its claims database (do we have any examples of the kind of claims data that might be useful – might be worth stating what they might be).

The Medicare PHR Choice Pilot is the latest of several Medicare initiatives aimed at modernizing the American health care system. In 2008, Medicare has spearheaded several advancements in health information technology initiatives, including an electronic health records program for physician record-keeping and an electronic prescribing program.