Health Plans Are Developing Powerful New Web-Based Personal Health Records to Allow Consumers to Manage Their Health

Bruce Goldfarb of AIS Health writes:

Individualized personal health records (PHRs) — long a holy grail of medical informatics — are poised to serve a prominent role in consumer-directed health (CDH.)

Several large health plans have begun providing Web-based PHRs that give consumers powerful tools to manage their health. Coming soon, consumers will be able to keep tabs on the financial aspects of their medical care as well.

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PHRs Add Financial Components

Several health plans — including CIGNA and UnitedHealth Group — are adding a financial component to their PHR with Intuit Inc.’s Quicken Health. Quicken Health allows consumers to organize and view medical expenses, insurance payments and service history from providers.

The Quicken Health module “will allow people to have greater insight into how they’re spending on care and what they owe providers,” explains Dan Carmody, CIGNA’s vice president of information strategy and solutions. “It allows them to understand their health care from a financial perspective.”

OptumHealth takes things a step further by using the PHR and health risk assessment as feedback for CDH incentives. With the “Rewards for Action” program, as members comply with therapy and engage in risk reduction, information from the PHR is fed back to the health plan for use in calculating premium reductions or other financial incentives. “We have mechanisms that become a very sophisticated incentive program that can be shared with an employer or payer,” explains Harlan Levine, M.D., OptumHealth’s chief medical officer.

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Full story – AIS Health

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