UnitedHealth launches own Blue Button program for personal health records

UnitedHealth is implementing a Blue Button program, an initiative begun by the Department of Veterans Affairs, that allows members to access and print their personal health records (PHR) online.

"Blue Button is a new, convenient way people can access their health records securely and easily with just a single click," Karl Ulfers, vice president of UnitedHealth's Consumer Solutions, said in a statement. "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."

Although UnitedHealth already provided access to members' PHRs, the Blue Button program lets members print those records in either text or PDF format by clicking on a blue button at the insurer's website, reported MedCity News.

The PHRs contain information, such as members' claims data, health screenings, previous or current health conditions, vital signs and procedures performed, Healthcare IT News reported.

UnitedHealth's Blue Button program will grant PHR access to 12 million UnitedHealth members with employer-sponsored plans by the end of the year, and almost all 26 million UnitedHealth members will have access by mid-2013, MedCity News noted.

To learn more:
- see the Healthcare IT News article
- read the MedCity News article
- check out the UnitedHealth statement