May 2008
In this issue
Medicare Launches South Carolina PHR Pilot

Medicare has launched a personal health record (PHR) pilot project for Medicare beneficiaries in South Carolina. Known as My Personal Health Record, South Carolina (MyPHRSC), the project gives people with Medicare access to an electronic PHR containing the last 2 years of their Medicare claims data as well as other features to help eligible beneficiaries better manage and understand their health information.

MyPHRSC will be available via the Internet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users can view their Medicare medical history in a variety of formats, customize their PHR with their own medical information, and can provide access to other trusted members of their healthcare team. Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI), a prime contractor for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), specializes in Health IT solutions and is currently the prime contractor on several other CMS projects. In addition to QSSI, the project includes HealthTrio LLC, Palmetto GBA and IBM. MyPHRSC will utilize HealthTrio LLC software and leverage Palmetto GBA's expertise with CMS claims data to provide a PHR.

The test program, which began on April 4, 2008, is expected to run for 12 months. The pilot was scheduled to begin earlier this year but was slowed by "serious security issues," according to CMS CIO Julie Boughn. CMS said it will use information from the pilot to determine future steps with respect to PHRs. The South Carolina PHR pilot follows another initiative launched in June of 2007 in which CMS is collaborating with seven health plans to test the use of PHRs for beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan.

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