Surprising Result: Medicaid Patients Most Likely to Use EMRs

When offered the opportunity to manage their own care, using a computerized personal health record (PHR), 26% did so. But of the group (1/3 Medicaid, 1/3 Medicare and 1/3 employer plans) the highest use by far was among Medicaid patients:

The PHR provides patients with access to their problem list, vitals (height, weight, blood pressure, BMI), medication lists, basic lab results, A1C results (can be charted for track and trend) and basic demographic information… They have purposely kept the PHR simple and focused on the treatment of diabetes.

The highest adoption and use of the PHR is among Medicaid patients, who make up a whopping 87% of all diabetic patients…using the PHR. Why the strong adoption among this sub-group? Fragmented care…Medicaid patients must move from one provider or clinic to another to receive treatment — there is no consistency for this group as to where they receive their care and the PHR provides this group a “medical home” for their PHI which they value.

Full article on personal health records for Medicaid patients.

Comments (4)

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  1. Brian Williams. says:

    Will Obamacare fix this mistake? I can’t imagine Congress wants Medicaid patients to have this much control over thier own health care.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    People have access to their bank statements, stock portfolios and credit card statements online. We also receive a Social Security statement once a year. However, I suspect people pay much closer attention to the accounts that they control compared to those they do not control – such as their Social Security statement. If you want people to take greater responsibility for their health and use PHR, they have to benefit financially or suffer financially when they don’t. Currently, it’s hardly in the immediate interest of all parties to use PHR or EMR — despite the fact that most experts believe health IT could benefit the health care industry. Few stakeholders have the incentive to bear the cost of implementing Health IT because they bear the cost but cannot capture the benefits.

  3. Bruce says:

    This result is surprising only if you forget that incentives matter.

  4. Linda Gorman says:

    This result was for diabetic patients treated at Howard University’s Diabetes Treatment Center. The population, 1/3 on Medicare, 1/3 on Medicaid, and 1/3 commercially insured is neither large nor representative.

    In addition, patients were “introduced to the PHR during an appointment with a clinician encouraging patients to use the PHR to assist them in self–managing their diabetes.” Are they urged to have a PHR at that point?

    How do is on-going usage asessed? It isn’t clear. They say stuff is uploaded but they don’t say how they measure patient use, if any. And why should care for Medicaid patients be fragmented if they are being treated at the Howard University Hospital Diabetes Treatment Center?

    As usual, inquiring minds want to know…

    I don’t understand how the Medicaid patients are getting fragmented care if theymake up a “whopping” 87% of all the diabetic patients using the PHR