Medicare Services Agency Tests Personal Health Records

By Stacy Lawrence  |  Posted 2006-07-26 Email Print this article Print

CMS selects two vendors to begin its project testing the feasibility of allowing individuals to access their claim information via PHRs.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a Baltimore-based agency, has selected vendors to test the feasibility of allowing covered individuals to access their claims information through personal health records.

Capstone Government Solutions, in Nashville, Tenn., and Shared Health, in Chattanooga, Tenn., were chosen to populate PHRs with Medicare beneficiary claims data.

Capstone, a joint venture between Cigna Government Services, of Atlanta-based Cigna, and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, also headquartered in Chattanooga, is positioned to access both Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (physician) claims data.

Capstone's partner in this effort, PHR technology vendor Shared Health, offers pre-populated, patient-centered clinical health records to more than 600,000 Medicaid patients in Tennessee.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Technology releases a list of 20 electronic health record products that met its standards. Click here to read more.

The CMS project, called the Personal Health Records Feasibility Test, is a six-month study to examine transmission of Medicare claims data into an electronic PHR system.

The agency first issued an RFP (request for proposal) on this project in January of 2006.

The original RFP called for the Personal Health Records Feasibility Test project to not only assess the feasibility of populating PHRs with Medicare claims data but also to evaluate options for exchanging data between CMS systems and PHR tools, to determine data content and functionality of PHRs specific to Medicare beneficiaries, and to understand the current PHR environment with respect to best practices for security and privacy issues.

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Stacy Lawrence is co-editor of's Health Care Center. Lawrence has covered IT and the life sciences for various publications, including Business 2.0, Red Herring, The Industry Standard and Nature Biotechnology. Before becoming a journalist, Lawrence attended New York University and continued on in the sociology doctoral program at UC Berkeley.

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