The CMS has officially released the names of the companies it hired under six-month contracts to perform feasibility testing of a CMS effort to use data gleaned from Medicare claims to prepare personal health records for Medicare beneficiaries.
As reported on June 30 and July 6 by Health IT Strategist, the contractors are ViPS, a unit of Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Emdeon Corp., and Capstone Government Solutions, Nashville, a for-profit consortium formed in 2004 by not-for-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee and Cigna Government Services, an arm of publicly traded Cigna Corp.
Under the ViPS contract, WebMD Health Corp., a publicly traded company that is majority owned by Emdeon, will serve as a subcontractor and provide its PHR as a recipient and display mechanism for data processed by ViPS. In addition, Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators -- an operating division of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and a Medicare Part B carrier for Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi and a Part A administrator for Alabama, Iowa, and South Dakota -- will provide Medicare claims data.
The total cost of the project is $500,000, the CMS said in a news release Friday. Medicare provides coverage for more than 42 million beneficiaries.
About 140,000 Medicare beneficiaries already have access to an internet portal, the MyMedicare.gov pages on www.medicare.gov, which carry their prescription drug histories, preventive services and claim status, as well as online forms and information about Medicare. Under the contracts, the CMS wants to evaluate the information included in existing PHRs and how that might be used to help improve care to Medicare beneficiaries. The CMS also wants to look at how existing PHRs handle security and privacy issues.