UnitedHealthcare Implements Blue Button Program

UnitedHealthcare Promotes Use of Personal Health Records

The Blue Button Initiative was launched in August 2010 in an effort to accelerate patient access to their health records. The Blue Button functionality allows veterans to download their personal health information from their MyHealthVet account to their computers, smart phones, thumb drives and more. Last month at the Health Data Initiative Forum ONC’s Farzad Mostashari announced the “Blue Button Mash Up Challenge”, throwing down the gauntlet to enterprising developers to design an application that combines an individual’s personal health information with other data thereby empowering them to make better health decisions. Now UnitedHealthcare has announced its launch of their own Blue Button program, myuhc.com.

From the press release issued by UnitedHealthcare:

“Blue Button is a new, convenient way people can access their health records securely and easily with just a single click,” said Karl Ulfers, vice president, Consumer Solutions for UnitedHealthcare. “This technology encourages people to update their personal health records as well as print them, so they can take their records with them and discuss their health and treatments with their doctors.”

“Blue Button puts patients in charge of their personal health information. It is central to our vision of patient-centered clinical encounters,” said Peter L. Levin, chief technology officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The federal Blue Button initiative is a great example of public-private partnerships and open government. With Blue Button the government created a framework that offers patients private and secure access to their data, and is a model for the private sector.”

According to the VA’s CIO Roger Baker, a half million veterans and medicare participants are already using the Blue Button. He expects that by year end as many as “75 million people will have access to their medical information through Blue Button.”

UnitedHealthcare first went live with the Blue Button in March of this year. Through expansion efforts they expect 26 million UnitedHealthcare network participants will access to their personal health records by the middle of next year. You can read the full press release here.