06 Jun Now is the Time for Patient Centered Medical Record Management
The combination of excessive fees and a confusing process is deterring people from taking control of their medical information
by Matt Cottrell, Founder & CEO
In an effort to drive down medical care cost through the use of value-based reimbursement the Government Accounting Office (GAO) recently surveyed healthcare providers in a number of states regarding patient access to medical information. The results of that survey were as unsurprising as they were disappointing.
Challenges for Patients:
- State laws regarding the cost to obtain medical records varies widely
- Per-page fees can result in significant costs for patients with chronic conditions who have amassed thousands of pages of medical records
- Most patients aren’t aware that they have the right to request their medical records
Challenges for healthcare providers:
- There is significant cost to staff for and respond to requests for medical records
- The process of retrieving records from electronic health record (EHR) systems can be overly complex and time consuming
- Records are being incorrectly merged when paper versions are scanned into the EHR system, resulting in potential HIPAA violations and additional confusion for the patient
Why Is Patient Centered ROI So Difficult Today?
There are a number of reasons for this dilemma. From confusing state laws that make it exceedingly difficult for patients and their representatives to get their records to release of information (ROI) practices driven by a profit motive that demands maximum revenue regardless of the amount of effort required to deliver the records. All of these factors are combining to create a system that is expensive, time consuming and frustrating for patients and providers.
The result of this environment is that critical information that could help patients make healthcare decisions is being withheld because patients can’t navigate the process or they can’t afford the fees being charged to release the records.
Society Is Impacted
Society is also harmed. If patients controlled the access to their medical information, they could potentially release that information to research organizations and population health scientists who use that information to study health trends, formulate strategies to improve the health of the entire population and help design policies that benefit everyone through better health decisions.
The Government Wants To See Improvement
During the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Spring Conference in Washington, D.C., CMS Administrator Seema Verma underscored the government’s commitment to eliminating the barriers patients face when accessing their records:
“Imagine if our health records weren’t just used by our doctors in their workflow, but rather if EHRs allowed third-party applications to access and leverage that data in innovative ways for both the patient and doctor,” Verma said. “Imagine if patients could authorize access to their records to researchers from all over the country who could not only develop specific treatments for their needs, but the researchers could also use that information to develop cures that could save millions of lives.”
The Benefits of Patient Centered ROI
The benefit of simplified access to patient health records is clear. Patients would be able to make better informed decisions about their own health care, society would benefit from improvements in population health made through access to better information, providers would spend less time compiling and releasing health records and more time concentrating on patient care. This is a world we should all strive for.
ChartFast is committed to patient centered health information management. We are dedicated to simplifying and automating the release of information experience for patients and their representatives. We strive to use our technology to help patients understand the benefits of sharing their information with researchers who can use it to bring better health outcomes for society…and we want to do this with an easy to understand process at minimal cost to the patient.
We see a bright future of informed patients, satisfied healthcare providers and a healthier society. We are dedicated to making that future happen.
ChartFast exists because we believe that getting the right medical information into the right hands at the right time is critical to effective healthcare. Furthermore, we believe that the companies that have been providing this service in the past have done a poor job, for providers and requesters. We are dedicated to changing the face of health information management.