KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Providers Could Tap Decades Of Electronic Health Records To Help Patients Make Choices Now

"Patients are always saying, don't just give me the averages, tell me what happened to others who look like me and made the same treatment decisions I did," says Dr. Tracy Lieu, who heads Kaiser Permanente's research division that is exploring how it might use years worth of health records to inform current patients.

NPR: Other People's Electronic Medical Records May Improve Your Health Care
Chances are your doctor has stopped taking notes with pen and paper and moved to computer records. That is supposed to help coordinate your care. Increasingly, researchers are also exploring these computerized records for medical studies – and gleaning facts that help individual patients get better care. (Harris, 1/9)

In other news on electronic health records —

Boston Globe: Patient Power Through Records 
Today, electronic medical records are ubiquitous — 87 percent of US office-based physicians were using them by the end of 2015, up from 42 percent in 2008. Yet the rapid adoption of the technology, spurred by $35 billion in federal government incentives, hasn’t proved the cure-all that tech evangelists promised. Electronic records are still difficult for patients to access, difficult for doctors to share among themselves, and difficult to standardize. (Tanner, 1/7)

The Associated Press: Officials: Foreign Government May Have Breached Health Data
A foreign government may have been behind a cyber breach of health insurance company Anthem Inc. that compromised the records of more than 78 million consumers, investigators said Friday. They declined to identify the hackers or the foreign government. Social Security numbers, birthdates and employment details of customers were accessed in the breach, officials said. Cybersecurity experts say the data could help a foreign government build a profile of people they're targeting for espionage. (Cooper, 1/6)

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