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PHR Pilot Announced for Utah, Arizona

The Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices is launching a pilot program totest options for Medicare beneficiariesin Utah and Arizona to maintain theirhealth records electronically. Under thepilot, a beneficiary may choose one ofthe selected commercial personal healthrecord (PHR) tools, and Medicare willtransfer up to 2 years of the individual'sclaims data into the individual's PHR.

The program is slated to begin inJanuary 2009 and is expected to offerMedicare beneficiaries in the 2 statesa choice of several PHR options.Beneficiaries can allow family membersto have access to their PHR, and theycan also provide access to the PHR totheir health care providers.

PDX Integrates Patient Rx History into Google Health

PDX and recently entered intoa strategic partnership with GoogleHealth to make prescription data, managedfor multiple chain and independentpharmacy clients, accessible to GoogleHealth users.

The agreement enables any pharmacyusing the PDX electronic healthrecord (EHR) or the ElectronicPrescription Record to import thepatient's prescription history into GoogleHealth. Duane Reade is the first PDXclient to start integration with GoogleHealth. Each PDX pharmacy client willhave his or her own independent relationshipwith Google Health, while PDXserves to technically integrate the pharmacywith the Google Health platform.

Currently, patients can access theirRx history from their pharmacy's Website linked to the colocationfacility in Dallas, Texas. Withthe Google Health integration, patientswho aggregate their data in either thePDX EHR or the portable and interoperableElectronic Prescription Recordat can get copies of the datadownloaded into Google Health useraccounts.

This allows PDX customers the abilityto integrate their prescription data withGoogle Health. As a result, patients willbe able to view a more complete prescriptionprofile that may include medicalrecords from a variety of pharmaciesand health care providers. GoogleHealth users must provide consent toany PDX pharmacy client to importtheir prescription history into GoogleHealth and/or share Google Health profiledata back to the pharmacy.

CMS Hosts National E-prescribing Conference

The Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices hosted a National E-prescribingConference earlier this month to educateprovider and beneficiary constituencieson the Medicare Improvementfor Patients and Providers Act of 2008electronic prescribing (e-prescribing)program and promote e-prescribingthroughout the health care community.The conference includes topics such as:

  • Equip health care professionals with the knowledge and tools to integrate e-prescribing into their business and business model
  • Generate discussion about e-prescribing and other e-health initiatives to increase patient adherence and overall improved health outcomes
  • Identify and promote opportunities to overcome barriers to adopt this new technology
  • Address constituent concerns about privacy, security, and risk management in regard to the implementation of this new provision

New Standards for HIT Endorsed

The National Quality Forum (NQF) hasendorsed 9 new national voluntary consensusstandards for health informationtechnology (HIT) in the areas ofelectronic prescribing (e-prescribing),electronic health record (EHR) interoperability,care management, quality registries,and the medical home model ofpatient-centered primary care.

These HIT structural measures areintended to help providers assess theefficacy and standardization of currentHIT systems and identify areas whereadditional HIT tools can be used.

In terms of e-prescribing, the 2 measuresendorsed by NQF encouragethe adoption of either a stand-alonee-prescribing tool for providers withEHR systems or the enhanced use ofe-prescribing within an EHR for earlyadopters of HIT.

EHR interoperability is anotherkey area. NQF endorsed 2 measuresto increase adoption of interoperableEHRs. The first measures adoption ofan EHR to manage clinical data within apractice. The second measures receiptof clinical data such as external laboratoryresults into an EHR.

?If we hope to achieve high-quality,patient-centered care, we need interoperableHIT that can help us share informationelectronically and track patientsthroughout the delivery system?all ofwhich can reduce errors and overuseand increase measurement across thecontinuum of care,? said Janet CorriganNQF president and chief executiveofficer. For more information,

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