And in the bitter, twisted segment of THCB this week, apparently Empire Blues will be offering personal health records to their patients. And the records will be prepopulated for the members with information gleaned from claims data. including outpatient lab test results, physician visits, hospital stays, reported diagnoses and prescriptions. They can also (self-enter, I assume) values, such as cholesterol levels, that can be grouped together and graphically tracked over time. They’re using WebMD (who bought Wellmed, the last man standing in the PHR space phase 1 c.2002) to provide the service.
This is a screamingly logical thing for health plans to do. It gives them a compelling front end web application for their members, and thus gives their members a reason to stick with the plan (given the choice, although I know a lot of members are not). In addition they are the only ones who’ve got the majority of a member’s data all in one place. The only real exceptions are providers with a full service HMO like a Kaiser or a Group Health of Puget Sound who can then offer views into their electronic medical record system (e.g. MyEpic). For the traditional health plans, who’s CRM for their members has been completely crap for decades, this is an easy and relatively cheap way to improve their "customer service".
I’m just a little bitter that they’ve decided to do it now rather than FIVE years ago when I was selling exactly the same thing….
However, if any health plan or tech company wants to know more about this, I will work for food.