Aetna's PHR combines a wide variety of health information gathered from across the health care spectrum -- such as physician offices, labs, diagnostic treatment and pharmacies -- with user-entered information such as family history or allergies, and houses it in a secure, online location. This type of tool is especially important to Medicare members as more and more of them use the Internet. A May 2008 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Society estimates that 35 percent of individuals age 65 and over use the Internet, and the percentage increase for this age group has been greater than any other since 2000.
"This is a great example of the value that we provide to our Medicare members," said Frank McCauley, head of Aetna's Consumer Business Segment. "Instead of storing medical records in a file cabinet or a shoe box, Aetna's PHR allows members to access their medical information any place an Internet connection is available."
With permission from the member, the Personal Health Record can be shared online with physicians and other health care professionals. In addition, members can easily print copies to bring to office visits to help fill out forms. They also have the ability to create and print a wallet-sized Emergency Information Card that contains important information such as name, date of birth, blood type, emergency contacts, allergies, medications, and physician and insurance information.
Aetna's PHR also uses patented CareEngine technology that continuously scans an individual's health data and claims information and compares it to current, established medical best practices. It can then alert members and doctors about possible urgent situations and opportunities to improve care.
Through a recent pilot program that made the PHR available to more than 750,000 members, Aetna discovered that members with an ongoing health condition were twice as likely to use their PHR as those without one. In part because of this finding, Aetna added Health Trackers to the PHR to help members better follow their health data. With this new feature, members can more effectively monitor their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and more.
Aetna has also made the PHR available online to treating physicians' offices (if given access by the member) through Aetna's secure provider website via NaviNet®.
"With age usually comes an increased need for health care services, and our Medicare members are more likely to have chronic conditions they need to monitor on an ongoing basis," McCauley said. "These new features will give them the ability to better track their own health information and share it with their physicians. Improvements in both of these areas can help our members make better decisions concerning their health care."
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. www.aetna.com