The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is launching a pilot program to test options for Medicare beneficiaries in Utah and Arizona to maintain their health records electronically. Under the pilot, a beneficiary may choose one of the selected commercial personal health record (PHR) tools, and Medicare will transfer up to 2 years of the individual's claims data into the individual's PHR.
The program is slated to begin in January 2009 and is expected to offer Medicare beneficiaries in the 2 states a choice of several PHR options. Beneficiaries can allow family members to have access to their PHR, and they can also provide access to the PHR to their health care providers.
PDX and Rx.com recently entered into a strategic partnership with Google Health to make prescription data, managed for multiple chain and independent pharmacy clients, accessible to Google Health users.
The agreement enables any pharmacy using the PDX electronic health record (EHR) or the Rx.com Electronic Prescription Record to import the patient's prescription history into Google Health. Duane Reade is the first PDX client to start integration with Google Health. Each PDX pharmacy client will have his or her own independent relationship with Google Health, while PDX serves to technically integrate the pharmacy with the Google Health platform.
Currently, patients can access their Rx history from their pharmacy's Web site linked to the PDX-Rx.com colocation facility in Dallas, Texas. With the Google Health integration, patients who aggregate their data in either the PDX EHR or the portable and interoperable Electronic Prescription Record at rx.com can get copies of the data downloaded into Google Health user accounts.
This allows PDX customers the ability to integrate their prescription data with Google Health. As a result, patients will be able to view a more complete prescription profile that may include medical records from a variety of pharmacies and health care providers. Google Health users must provide consent to any PDX pharmacy client to import their prescription history into Google Health and/or share Google Health profile data back to the pharmacy.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hosted a National E-prescribing Conference earlier this month to educate provider and beneficiary constituencies on the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) program and promote e-prescribing throughout the health care community. The conference includes topics such as:
The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 9 new national voluntary consensus standards for health information technology (HIT) in the areas of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, care management, quality registries, and the medical home model of patient-centered primary care.
These HIT structural measures are intended to help providers assess the efficacy and standardization of current HIT systems and identify areas where additional HIT tools can be used.
In terms of e-prescribing, the 2 measures endorsed by NQF encourage the adoption of either a stand-alone e-prescribing tool for providers with EHR systems or the enhanced use of e-prescribing within an EHR for early adopters of HIT.
EHR interoperability is another key area. NQF endorsed 2 measures to increase adoption of interoperable EHRs. The first measures adoption of an EHR to manage clinical data within a practice. The second measures receipt of clinical data such as external laboratory results into an EHR.
?If we hope to achieve high-quality, patient-centered care, we need interoperable HIT that can help us share information electronically and track patients throughout the delivery system?all of which can reduce errors and overuse and increase measurement across the continuum of care,? said Janet Corrigan NQF president and chief executive officer. For more information, visit www.qualityforum.org.