PHR Choice Pilot Companies Selected

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has named four personal health record (PHR) companies to participate in the Medicare PHR Choice Pilot, according to a Nov. 12 press release. The pilot will be conducted in Arizona and Utah, and is slated to begin early 2009.

The four PHR companies are: Google Health, HealthTrio, NoMoreClipboard.com, and PassportMD.

Beneficiaries with “Original” Medicare can choose one of these four companies to maintain their PHR information electronically. A basic PHR may contain data entered by the beneficiary and his or her provider. In this pilot, Medicare will also transfer up to two years of health information from its claims database upon request.

Costs to maintain and access a PHR vary, depending on the company and product level. PassportMD, for example, offers consumers a variety of product levels at cost, but doesn’t charge physicians. Whereas NoMoreClipboard.com charges physicians a fee to send or receive PHR information as a secure HL7-compliant clinical message.

As PHRs increase in popularity, physicians will need to educate themselves on the various product offerings and be prepared to charge patients for additional costs they may incur.

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