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Buyers Health Care Action Group in Minnesota Collaborates with HealthVault for a PHR that is “Non-Tethered” to any Employer, Pro

Posted Jun 04 2009 10:41pm

The PHR is available to anyone who resides in the state.  This is nice as there is no outside entity with invested interests as far as gaining additional image market share, etc, which is basically what HealthVault does too, so a good match here.

With all the recent news, it’s not taking too long to figure out who consumers appear to be trusting and valuing with their personal health records.  With non transparency with both Health Insurance and even some employers, this is the big question, who do you believe and who might want to market you for a few dollars.  We all may be a bit hesitant on that area as pharmacy benefit managers have been marketing our medication patterns for years, so it may give thought as to who else might want to cash in. 

If you take a look at the Employers who are members, there’s some pretty large names, such as Best Buy, Glaxo Smith Kline, 3M, Medtronic,Merck, University of Minnesota, Pfizer and Wyeth to name a few.   When you look at the list, there’s many pharmaceutical companies included as well as other medically related companies as well. 

If you want to see how it looks and works, click on the image below to see more.  It has all the goodies of HealthVault, including uploading device data too, which we will being seeing even more of in the future.  BD 

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Press Release:

Buyers Health Care Action Group Leads Initiative to Give Consumers Online Access to Their Health Information

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (June 4, 2009) – A groundbreaking initiative by the Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) will give Minnesotans access to their health information through a universal, secure Web platform. Unlike other personal health records, the BHCAG platform, called myHealthfolio.com, is not connected or tethered to any specific provider, health plan or employer, so consumers can own and manage their information anywhere, anytime. This platform will enable consumers to securely and conveniently store and share their health information, which can help them better manage their health and their health care dollars.

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BHCAG, a Minnesota-based employer health care coalition, has partnered with Twin Cities based Avenet to develop an electronic application that utilizes the Microsoft HealthVault platform.   This will enable a virtual conduit for health information that may currently be stored by a health plan, a health care provider, or with an employer-sponsored health record.

According to Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of BHCAG, health information “data holders” in Minnesota ¾ including health plans, health care providers, lab and diagnostic services, pharmacies, home health care companies, health clubs and others ¾ are collaborating in support of myHealthfolio and the move toward a universal health information platform because of its potential to improve the consumer health care experience and to help people better manage their health care dollars.

“Protecting the health and well being of its employees and their family members is a responsibility that no company should take lightly,” said Pare. “Political leaders, including our own Governor Pawlenty, realize the value of online health records for everyone. In fact, the State of Minnesota is pushing for completion of this goal for its employees by 2011. Employers and health care companies need to unite in this effort to give employees the tools and information access they need to take charge of their health and maximize their precious health care dollars.”

myHealthfolio can be made available to every Minnesotan, regardless of health status, insurance or employment. Controlled solely by the individual, the platform will allow users to track their individual and family health history, including care received and medications taken. They will also have access to wellness and fitness information, online services to help them manage and improve their health, and information generated by home monitoring devices. 

“BHCAG and its member organizations believe that personal health information is just that ¾ personal,” said Deidre Serum, senior director of benefits, Carlson Companies, and chair of the Employers Advisory Group, which is leading the development of myHealthfolio for BHCAG. “We’ve worked diligently to build a tool that meets the needs of consumers, while having the technical capability to connect disparate organizations and sources of information into one, easy-to-use interface for consumers.”

  According to Pare, several well-known Minnesota employers and health care organizations have already signed on to use myHealthfolio, which is expected to launch in July 2009.

“Forward-thinking companies like Carlson recognize that healthy employees are more productive, have less absenteeism and are the foundation for a healthy economy,” said Pare. “We believe that access to, and control of information in a secure environment is key to helping people manage their health.”

Pare added that myHealthfolio will be free of advertising, will be owned by the individual, and access to the data is ultimately controlled by the individual.

myHealthfolio is integrated with Microsoft HealthVault, an open platform that empowers consumers by giving them easy access and more control over their health information, and by enabling the exchange of data to different health care providers and solutions. People can use HealthVault to store copies of their health records from their providers, plans, pharmacies, labs, or employers; upload information from health and fitness devices; share information with loved ones, healthcare providers and trainers; and access products and services.

What differentiates myHealthfolio from other electronic health records is the fact that it’s completely portable, it’s untethered to any other entity (such as an employer, provider or health plan), and it’s integrated into the broader, consumer-controlled, health record-keeping system. This, according to BHCAG, can encourage better coordination of information across the broad care continuum. myHealthfolio is controlled solely by the individual and allows people to track their care and medications, proactively choose healthier lifestyles to lower health risks, and even manage the entire family’s health care and data, regardless of changes in insurance, providers or employment status.

“The Buyers Health Care Action Group has taken a huge step in providing a universal health information interface for Minnesotans,” said David Cerino, general manager of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group. “They are the first coalition to leverage the power of influence held by a large group of employers to drive consumer access to healthcare data using the HealthVault platform.  This is significant in enabling improved health management for individuals and for the health of the state as a whole.”

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About The Buyers Health Care Action Group

Formed in 1988, the Buyers Health Care Action Group (BHCAG) is a Minnesota-based coalition of public and private employers working to recreate the health care system so consumers will get the care they need in the right place, at the right time and at the right price. BHCAG has introduced a number of nationally recognized innovations in health care contracting, delivery, quality and consumerism. Its current innovations include Bridges to Excellence, a pay for performance program designed to improve outcomes for diabetics and people with heart, vascular disease and depression; eValue8, an assessment of health plan support of purchaser initiatives to improve health care quality; the Chartered Value Exchange, a federal initiative to improve health care value in the marketplace through collaboration; and Aligning Forces for Quality, a RWJ funded project to improve public reporting, quality improvement and consumer engagement in health and health care. BHCAG is based in Bloomington, Minn. For more information, visit www.bhcag.com.

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