Giving individual patients access to and control of their own health information, including medical history, test results, coverage limitations and financial information, is key to creating more informed and engaged health care consumers. Minnesota Health Action Group members, as purchasers of health care, are responsible for providing health care coverage to millions of people every year.
Because members take their responsibility seriously, The Action Group established an Employer Advisory Group in 2008 to advocate for an important improvement to the health system – a fully functioning, interoperable personal health record that will empower employees to take charge of their own health and maximize their precious health care dollars. The workgroup evaluated the current and evolving personal health record landscape, privacy and security issues, best practices in adoption, the role of the Minnesota Health Information Exchange, connectivity issues and implementation requirements. In addition, the Employer Advisory Workgroup collaborated to create and disseminate the Health Care Purchaser Declaration. View the Health Care Purchaser Declaration.
Several health plans and providers already have made great strides in offering online personal health records and health management tools. Utilization is increasing as individuals realize the benefit of managing their own care as consumer directed health plans become a more common employer health plan offering and employer contributions are scaled back. However, current personal health records are not portable or integrated, resulting in inefficiencies and redundancies in care every time individuals switch jobs or health plans.
The Minnesota Health Action Group invites and encourages all health information “data holders” – health plans, payers of medical, dental and pharmacy benefits, health care providers, pharmacies, home care device developers, health clubs and others – to join us in increasing the efficiency, cost effectiveness and value of personal health information management by supporting the use of a universal, secure health information repository and management site for all Minnesotans. This will allow individuals to connect and communicate electronically with providers, research and choose health care treatments and make informed choices about their health. The technology already exists. Unifying behind it now is the next step.