Medicare Blue Button, More Data Than Ever Before!

Healthdata.gov: By Niall Brennan | On Fri, 06/22/2012 – 1:46pm.

No longer are health records something that sit in a folder in your doctor’s office never to see the light of day! The power of having personal health data at your finger tips is a new and growing phenomenon with help from Medicare Blue Button.  Blue Button allows Medicare beneficiaries to access their health data on a website or mobile device and download their personal health data from a personal health record or from their doctors’, hospital’s or clinical laboratory’s patient portal.  Since its launch, hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries have downloaded their personal health data.  The power of personal health data has taken another step forward, with new opportunities between beneficiaries and their providers as demonstrated at Health Datapalooza IIIwith the announcement of the Blue Button Mash Up Challenge.

To further fuel the unprecedented amounts of innovation in this area, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have made some extensive infrastructure upgrades to increase the availability of claims data.  Now, claims data from 12 to 36 months for Medicare Part A and B and 12 months of Part D claims data is now available.  Medicare has a number of different programs; Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care; Part B helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services, and other medical services. Part B also covers some preventive services and Part D is prescription drug coverage. Read More