Recognizing the critical health care need for accurate historic patient health records, the Obama administration has developed what it calls a “Blue Button” download initiative at the Department of Veteran Affairs, CMS and HHS. These are all programs that permit patients to go on-line and download their own medical records that they can share with their providers, caregivers and trusted others. Some of these programs are now operational. In the lead is the VA ( www.myhealth.va.gov ) where approximately 60,000 veterans have already accessed their records. Medicare recipients can also access their records now at www.mymedicare.gov . Only about 5,600 have done so. There are about 47 million medicare recipients and 1 million veterans.
Major insurers like Aetna, Inc. and United Health Group have indicated that they will join up with the program. The Markle Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offered a $2500 price for the creation of an application that could best help consumers use their downloaded medical data. There were 18 participants. The winner was Adobe’s Blue Button Health Assistant. Portable medical histories are on their way.