More than 430,000 veterans have downloaded their healthcare claims information through the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department's Blue Button initiative—far exceeding initial predictions for use of the service.
Blue Button use blows away VA expectations
The results to date for the technology, which aims to make it easy for VA patients to go online and download copies of their medical records, were reported Tuesday by Todd Park, chief technology officer at HHS, during the FedTalks 2011 conference in Washington.
The VA's "private projection," Park said, was that under the best circumstances, 25,000 veterans would use the feature.
Additionally, Park reported that private-sector representatives repeatedly have contacted federal agencies operating Blue Button since the initiative was launched late last year with logistics questions, including whether providing patients with their claims data violated federal privacy laws. Park said companies were assured that they could provide claims data to those patients just as the VA does.
"No memo, no communication we could possibly issue was more powerful than doing it ourselves," Park said.
The initiative has spurred several private-sector versions, Park said, including downloadable-claims programs from Aetna, UnitedHealth Group and Walgreen Co.
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