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UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement funds state's first 'Blue Button' project
Date:11/20/2013

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) As part of its mission to accelerate the adoption of health information exchange throughout California, the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement's California Health eQuality program awarded $400,000 to L.A. Care, the nation's largest publicly operated health plan, to develop Blue Button functionality.

Blue Button will allow L.A. Care members to access their own prescription data online. The project is the first in California and among the first in the nation to develop the tool for Medicaid beneficiaries.

L.A. Care offers free or low-cost health insurance programs to more than one million Los Angeles County residents, giving members access to more than 10,000 physicians, specialists, hospitals and pharmacies.

The Blue Button initiative is a Web-based feature that allows patients to easily view and download their health information and share it with health care providers and caregivers. The U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs initiated Blue Button in 2010. In 2012, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology began encouraging its broader use.

"Having a list of medications available through the Blue Button will help L.A. Care members take an active role in managing their care, increase effective communication with their providers and avoid potential prescription errors," said Kenneth W. Kizer, distinguished professor and director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis. "The lessons learned from this project can serve as a model for all managed care health plans in the state to adopt the same Blue Button functionality to improve patients' access to their data."

L.A. Care expects to begin extending the Blue Button service to Medi-Cal Managed Care beneficiaries by early 2014.

"For underserved and disadvantaged populations, the availability of online medical information resources significantly lags behind those offered to commercial insurance and Medicare patients, limiting their ability to participate in their own care," said Trudi Carter, chief medical officer for L.A. Care Health Plan. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring Blue Button to those vulnerable L.A. County residents, who can now get more involved in the management of their conditions and share their information with their providers and caregivers."


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Contact: Carole Gan
carole.gan@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9047
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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