General Health Care Politics Management Paperless Security

New Medicare initiative aims to fill holes in patient health records

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative that aims to connect the dots between a patient’s health records held by different providers.

The Data at the Point of Care, or DPC, demonstration seeks to bridge the data gap by connecting Medicare’s Blue Button — a tool that allows Medicare patients to download their health records and save them in computer files or apps — directly to a patient’s doctor. A doctor could then see claims data from a patient’s other providers that might not be accessible otherwise.

Source: New Medicare initiative aims to fill holes in patient health records

This seems like a good step in the right direction. That is the direction of complete shared online records. I believe there is great potential value in online digital records BUT:

The initiative in the linked article is based on a Medicare program. Since dentistry is not part of Medicare (Thank you) it will not apply to us.

The initiative appears to be focused on claims data. This is a very good way to allow different physicians treating the same patient for different conditions to get an idea of what the patient is being treated for, and what procedures may have been undertaken, however it is a far cry from an actual complete record.

Security remains the elephant in the room. Until we can be confident our data is secure people will be reluctant to have all their personal medical info stored online and available as needed.