Arizona, Utah to test CMS PHR pilot

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CMS makes PHRs a reality in the Utah and Arizona. Image Source: American Academy of Family Physicians  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched its Medicare Personal Health Records (PHR) Choice Pilot in Arizona and Utah.

The agency said that the pilot program will offer beneficiaries with Original Medicare the opportunity to choose one of the PHR products offered by the companies selected for the pilot. PHRs will allow beneficiaries to maintain their health record information electronically and Medicare will add claims data directly to the PHRs for the pilot.

CMS said that its contractor, Noridian Administrative Services, is coordinating the pilot program. The selected PHR companies offer beneficiaries various product choices, including ones that are free, as well as ones that offer ‘concierge’ services, for an extra fee, with additional features such as adding notes from healthcare providers and other sources of health information.

Through the pilot, beneficiaries who select one of the PHRs offered by the participating vendors can choose to add additional personal health information to supplement the information provided by Medicare, the agency said. Depending on the product, beneficiaries may be able to authorize links to other personal electronic information, such as pharmacy data.

“We hope our beneficiaries in Arizona and Utah will take advantage of this opportunity to establish a PHR that will be populated with their Medicare claims data,” said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems.