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United Healthcare Gets Blue Button, PHR Capability

July 5, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Health insurer, UnitedHealthcare has launched a Blue Button capability, allowing its members to access and print their personal health records (PHRs) with the click of a button. The Blue Button was first implemented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

UnitedHealthcare says its members have had access to a PHR for nearly 20 years. However, it says, adding the Blue Button to the site will “further promote the importance of a PHR and give users the ability to print their PHR in either PDF or text formats.” Members can view, print and download information from various sources, such as claims data, health screenings and self-entry. An individual’s PHR will include information such as previous or current health conditions, vital signs and procedures, and personal information that allow easy sharing of important information.

The VA originally launched the Blue Button in 2010 to allow simple exchange of a patient’s personal health data in a standard, consistent format. Both the VA and HHS have encouraged the health industry to adopt the Blue Button, and UnitedHealthcare is pleased to do so.

 “Blue Button puts patients in charge of their personal health information. It is central to our vision of patient-centered clinical encounters,” Peter L. Levin, chief technology officer at the VA, said in a statement. “The federal Blue Button initiative is a great example of public-private partnerships and open government. With Blue Button the government created a framework that offers patients private and secure access to their data, and is a model for the private sector.”



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