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personal health record pilot

CMS in January 2009 will launch an online personal health records pilot program for Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona and Utah as part of an ongoing effort by the Bush administration to encourage use of health care information technology, The Hill reports. Under the program, the PHRs will include as much as two years of Medicare data. Medicare beneficiaries will have the ability to add information to their PHRs and share them with physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers.

Supporters maintain that increased use of PHRs and other health care IT can help reduce health care costs and medical errors and improve quality of care. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said, “This exciting pilot will be a major step forward in Medicare,” adding, “We believe that it will provide information that will empower consumers to manage their health”

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