VA and CMS to launch personal health
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Veterans
Affairs Department and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
have announced projects that could lead to the creation of personal
health records for almost a third of the U.S. population.
On Aug. 29, the VA posted on the MyHealtheVet website a feature that
allows veterans to download personal information such as blood pressure,
weight, heart rate, emergency contact information, lab results, and
family and military medical histories to a personal health record.
A personal health record is a chart controlled by an individual patient
in a digital file, while an electronic health record is maintained and
managed by a doctor or clinician. In Canada, Telus has recently launched
a personal health record; other private companies also offer them, while
some hospitals are making them available to patients.
VA labeled the ability to download the medical data the Blue Button
feature. CMS also plans to post a similar button that would allow
Medicare and Medicaid patients to download personal medical information.
According to officials, the VA cares for more than 6 million patients a
year, while Medicare covers about 44 million people and Medicaid about
That’s a total of 90 million patients who theoretically could create
personal health records, or about 30 percent of the 310 million people
in the United States.
Veterans will be able to test the personal health record feature during
September and the MyHealtheVet and CMS websites will go live in October
with personal health records in conjunction with the Health 2.0
Conference in San Francisco.
Posted September 9, 2010