Starting in January 2009, Medicare will begin a new program to offer Personal Health Records (PHRs) to people living in Arizona and Utah who have Original Medicare - this program is called Medicare PHR Choice. In this program, you will be able to have your health information safely stored in one place and available anywhere you can access the Internet. You can allow your doctors to view your PHR on-line, or you can print a hard copy report with a summary of your health history and medicines and take it with you to an appointment.
When you have a PHR through Medicare PHR Choice, Medicare will automatically add your Part A and Part B claims directly into your PHR. You can add other personal health information, such as medications, allergies, contact information for your doctors and dentists, and information about your family health history. Each PHR tool has unique features and services, so you will want to look at each one and decide how well it meets your needs.
To be a part of the Medicare PHR Choice program, follow these steps:
- Review each of the different PHR tools available. Some PHRs are free and others have a monthly or annual fee, so you will want to think about this as you review the different features offered.
- Select the PHR you want to use, and sign-up for a PHR on their website.
- Request that your Medicare claims be added to your record automatically. Once you have set-up your PHR, you can request for your Medicare claims to be added.
Choose one of the following PHR vendors participating in the Medicare PHR Choice:
Need help choosing?
- View the
PHR comparison chart
- Here are some questions to consider when evaluating the PHRs:
- Does the PHR offer links to other websites that provide educational information about health issues?
- Is there a monthly or annual fee to use the PHR? Is there a cost for “extra” features?
- What will happen to my information if the company that provides the PHR goes out of business or becomes part of another company?
- What are the PHR's privacy and security policies?
Additional information about Medicare PHR Choice:
Can my Personal Health Record (PHR) be accessed by in an emergency if I'm not conscious?
Each tool is slightly different in how emergency personnel can access someone's PHR. Some PHRs provide a printable ID card that has the website and emergency access password. Otherwise, you can print the information and keep it in your wallet, or on your cell phone, under the name ICE (in case of emergency). Most emergency personnel are familiar with this code, and will check a cell phone for such information. Consumers can check with their PHR to see what features they offer.
Can I add information such as allergies, OTC (Over The Counter) medications, etc. to my Personal Health Record (PHR)?
Yes. You may add this information to your PHR if you choose.
Does the Personal Health Record (PHR) include family/guardian emergency contact information? Who has access to it?
You can add this information into your PHR. Access is only granted to whomever the owner of the PHR chooses.
Are people with Medicare required to use Personal Health Record (PHR)?
No. Medicare wants to introduce people with Medicare to and promote the use of PHRs but there are no current plans to make PHRs required for all people with Medicare.
I just went to the doctor. How long before my claim is added to my PHR?
Medicare will update your PHR as soon as the claim has been processed. There will be delay which will vary because providers have up to one year to bill Medicare.
Get more information about
Personal Health Records