This is an interesting article with new health cards, but leaves a few questions if you will.  It states no information is stored on the card, thus does the card to go the website to find the individual patient information?  Also it says the patient has to give permission, so how is that done, does the patient have to log on to their account first as they would with any PHR type of system? 

Any standard reader can use the card?  Again, a little more information might be helpful to understand what this card really does.  The announcement left out a few specifics so until there is more known on how it works, that’s about all I can add.  They also recently became part of Microsoft HealthVault, so in essence is this information not all available to bring to your own PHR account and allow access? 

One other item here that struck me a bit strange was still having Ingenix listed as part of the group in the “about” area.  if you remember a recent post the New York Attorney General shut down Ingenix as they made 1.3 billion last year on scrutinizing claims and paid a big fine too.  Maybe that was just an over sight on the publication here.  So what are these new algorithms programmed in to the cards going to do?  BD  

From a prior post: Prescription risk scores

“Did you know there's a market for your prescription data?  Insurance companies are buying prescription data collected from companies like Milliman Intelliscript and Ingenix to help them make insurance coverage determinations.
Right now lawmakers are trying to figure out how to oversee a health-industry shift to computerized records and insurers have started testing systems that tap into prescription drug information.

Milliman Intelliscript, part of the Milliman Company, collects data from Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) that are not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Then insurance companies pay a small fee to obtain the data, which they use to deny or approve claim requests.”

Ingenix, a Minnesota-based health information services company that had $1.3 billion in sales last year -- and Wisconsin-based rival Milliman -- say the drug profiles are an accurate, less expensive alternative to seeking physician records, which can take months and hundreds of dollars to obtain.

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Consistent with its ongoing commitment to make it easier for physicians to administer health care, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is the first to apply new industry standards to customer health care ID cards across all its businesses. This gives physicians and other care providers simpler access to more real-time information about their patients, while also advancing a single data platform for health care ID cards industry wide.

These advances will help simplify administrative processes for physician office staff, improve accuracy, and increase both customer and physician satisfaction. UnitedHealth Group collaborated with the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as physician and hospital associations to create the new health care ID card standards.

New national standards now require health care ID cards to include a magnetic stripe that can be read through a standard card-reader machine, and also be designed with a standard layout to increase readability and be compliant with the National Council for Prescription Programs. The new cards will enable this enhanced swiping capability by using what is referred to as the 'third track' of the magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to making health care work better. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, AmeriChoice, OptumHealth, Ingenix, and Prescription Solutions. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 70 million individuals nationwide. - UnitedHealth Group Makes It Simpler for Physicians to Administer Health Care with Updated Customer ID Cards

Related Reading:

Connecticut Attorney General also investigating UnitedHealthcare and Ingenix

Prescriptions risk score used to deny health insurance

Health insurer accused of overcharging millions – United Health Care/Oxford Insurance 50 Million Fine

Health insurer accused of overcharging millions – United Health Care/Oxford Insurance 50 Million Fine

UnitedHealth settles misstating executive compensation allegation with the SEC – Use their PHR?

UnitedHealth Will Sell You Insurance to guarantee that in the future you will be able to get insurance?

UnitedHealth Creates Personal Health Records With Online Health Venture

Algorithms, Formulas and Investigations leads to AARP suspending sales of some health plans


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