On Thursday, UnitedHealthcare announced that it is implementing a "Blue Button" tool to let policyholders access and download their personal health records by clicking a button on the health plan's website, MedCity News reports (Parmar, MedCity News, 7/5).
Background on Blue Button Tool
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched a Blue Button tool to help veterans access and exchange their personal health data in a standard, consistent manner. The VA project since has caught on in the private sector.
In March 2012, UnitedHealthcare launched a Blue Button tool for 500,000 people enrolled in policies with Health Plan of Nevada, a UnitedHealthcare company (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 7/5).
Details of the Announcement
In its announcement, UnitedHealthcare said that 12 million members of its employer-based plans will be able to use the Blue Button tool to access their personal health records by the end of this year.
By mid-2013, that number will grow to more than 26 million policyholders, UnitedHealthcare said (MedCity News, 7/5).
How UnitedHealthcare's Blue Button Will Work
UnitedHealthcare policyholders will be able to use the Blue Button tool to view, download and print information such as claims data and health screening summaries.
Members' PHRs also could include data like vital signs, current health conditions and recent procedures (Healthcare IT News, 7/5).