Lofty Goal Set To Provide Individual Digital Health Records

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The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is working to make digital health data accessible to individuals on smartphones or other devices.

In a recent announcement made by Seema Verma, administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the HHS will require doctors, hospitals and insurance plans that operate within federal programs to deliver both claims and medical records in digital format by 2020.

The data improvements involve a large group – 125 million people – who participate in Medicare, Medicaid and Affordable Care Act plans. Verma stated that, since many Americans use smartphones to bank, shop and schedule daily tasks, health information should be just as user-friendly to access.

Accessible Digital Medical Information Is Portable

The new data accessibility will allow patients to take their individual health data with them if they move to a new insurance program. The proposal calls for updating of a patient’s electronic medical record at each health care visit so an up-to-date record will always be available.

Another advantage will be that physicians can avoid repeating exams and lab tests by having a full picture of the patient’s health available. The health care industry will have to use standardized formats that are compatible with smartphones.

HHS also hopes that this effort will make it easier for insurers and doctors to communicate with each other.

You can read the Washington Times coverage of this announcement here.

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