Blue Button…it’s Heading Your Way!

Every healthcare entity is required by law to allow patients access to their own health information. Previously it wasn’t as simple as utilizing  the “Blue Button” tool to electronically transmit records. Paper copies were harder to get a hold of, especially if the patient relocated or saw multiple physicians. Blue Button is giving patients all over the country easy access to their own medical records.

Currently Blue Button is available to Medicare beneficiaries, veterans and service members.  In August 2010, President Obama released news that Veterans could soon use a tool called “Blue Button” to access their medical history. The Department of Veteran Affairs launched Blue Button in October 2010 (around the same time Meaningful Use went into effect).

Slowly but surely other companies are getting on board and offering Blue Button, United Healthcare  and Aetna are among them.  United Healthcare anticipates 26 million patients will have access to “Blue Button” by the end of 2013. Blue Button users can view or print records in PDF and text formats, or even save to a thumb-drive.

With easier access, patient’s are more apt to be involved in their care, keeping track of their medical history and be “in the know” when it comes to preventative care. Patients, ask your healthcare provider if they offer “Blue Button”.

Healthcare Provider’s, if you don’t offer it, what are you waiting for? Licensing is no longer required to use the “Blue Button” logo and brand. You just need to follow these guidelines, put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Veterans and service members, click here to access Blue Button

Medicare beneficiaries, https://www.mymedicare.gov/ to access Blue Button

http://bluebuttondata.org/

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