Healthcare

New Tool To Provide Digital Access To Patients’ Health Records

Technology giants Apple, Microsoft and Google are teaming up with a number of healthcare providers to test out the CARIN Blue Button API.

The newly released data model and draft implementation guide will provide patients with digital access to historical health insurance claims data on devices they use every day. CARIN, which was developed by private sector partners, including consumer organizations, insurance providers, digital health app developers and more, includes more than 240 claim data elements agreed on by multiple regional and national health plans.

“These data elements are included in what we are calling the common payer consumer data set or CPCDS,” the CARIN Alliance wrote in a press release. “We have taken these data elements and mapped them to … resources to better assist health plans implement the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access proposed rule.”

The new implementation guide builds on Blue Button 2.0, which gives 44 million Medicare beneficiaries digital access to their historical claims information through an app of their choice.

“This functionality has empowered millions of Medicare beneficiaries to more easily access their health information and provides them an opportunity to work with their physician to make better care decisions for themselves and their family,” the alliance explained.

The technology will be tested this year by participating companies, including certain BlueCross/BlueShield providers, the State of Washington, and Apple, Google and Microsoft. The participants will perform “real-world testing” of the CARIN model to prepare for a broad product launch of the data standard in 2020.

“We appreciate each of these organizations and their commitment to advancing real-world testing of the CARIN Blue Button draft implementation guide later this year,” the press release stated. “We also appreciate the leadership of the Office of American Innovation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to advance nationwide healthcare interoperability.”

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