Medicare To Evaluate How Beneficiaries Used Personal Health Records
The Department of Health and Human Services is preparing to evaluate a 17-month-old pilot program that has tested whether beneficiaries use personal health records (PHR) in Utah and Arizona, Modern Healthcare reports. HHS released a statement saying, "Current PHR business models represent broad and varied uses, from disease management to health promotion, with sponsors consisting of commercial vendors, heath plans, employers and healthcare providers. We know very little about why consumers, and specifically Medicare beneficiaries, elect to use PHRs and what functionality they want from a PHR." Mathematica Policy Research will conduct the evaluation. The agency said 1,362 people were using PHRs under the pilot program (Conn, 5/19).
Government Health IT: Meanwhile, after an April theft of a laptop containing personal data about 644 veterans, the Veterans Affairs department is planning to increase enforcement of contractors' information security. The VA already requires contractors to meet its own security policies, including the safeguard that data on mobile devices are encrypted. Now,the agency will begin auditing its contractors to assure their compliance with that requirement (Mosquera, 5/19).