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Study Examines Use of Insurer PHRs

March 11, 2009
by root
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Findings from a study published in the journal Health Affairs indicate that most health insurers are not actively marketing personal health records (PHRs) to enrollees and physicians, and that both patient adoption and physician awareness of insurer-sponsored PHRs are low.

While many major health insurers have created PHRs, the question still remains as to whether patients and physicians will embrace the electronic tool, according to the study, which was conducted by the Washington-based Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Despite the fact that insurers are enhancing PHR offerings, primarily as a competitive strategy, enrollees’ concerns about data security and confidentiality could still hamper adoption, while physicians question the use of claims data for treatment purposes and have concerns about incorporating use of PHR information into practice workflows, it states.

Joy M. Grossman, Ph.D., and Teresa Zayas-Cabán, senior manager of health information technology at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, co-authored the study, and Nicole Kemper, M.P.H, served as health research analyst. HSC is a nonpartisan health policy research organization funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the study.

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