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May 22, 2008

California Insurance Department Encouraging Residents to Use Online Personal Health Records

Not enough California residents are using online personal health records offered by insurers and managed care groups in the state, according to a report released on Tuesday by the state Department of Insurance, the Sacramento Bee reports. The report was based on a survey of California's major insurers. The report states that PHRs are secure and efficient and allow people to better manage their health care and handle their health insurance claims. Based on the report, the state is encouraging residents to use PHRs. The department also is expected to announce the creation of a working group that would aim to ensure patients can keep their PHRs when they switch insurance companies.

Some privacy advocates have expressed concern about PHRs. Sue Blevins, founder and president of the Institute for Health Freedom, said, "While providing information is essential when seeking services, one shouldn't be forced to give up privacy and the freedom to withhold consent." Blevins said, "In fact, as the nation moves toward interoperable electronic medical records, it's important for citizens to gain greater privacy and control over their health care information." However, state officials on Monday said that the PHRs available through insurers in the state are securely managed (Glover, Sacramento Bee, 5/20).

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Posted by healthinsurance at May 22, 2008 09:33 AM