WA launching health record bank pilot

Beginning in 2009, Washington state plans to launch a health record bank program serving 18,000 residents in three communities. Under legislation approved in 2005 and 2007, the Washington State Health Care Authority will award grants totaling $1.7 million to launch the pilots. Generally speaking, under the health record bank model, funding comes through account fees charged to individuals or sponsors.

In taking the health record bank approach, these entities are moving in an unusual direction. To date, only a few communities have given it a try, such as the Louisville (KY) Health Information Exchange. More centralized, provider-controlled records are more common--though as personal health records become more common, a patient-controlled model may become more popular.

The health record bank sites will collect patients' paper and electronic medical records from varied providers, including physicians, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies and other sources. Patients will control who is allowed to access their data. Google Health will work with two of the recipients, Community Choice Healthcare Network and Inland Northwest Health Services, and Microsoft HealthVault will work with St. Joseph Hospital Foundation and the Critical Junctures Institute.

To learn more about the pilot:
- read this Health Data Management piece

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SPOTLIGHT: Health record banks compete for patient data