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VA's My HealtheVet Honored for "Consumer Empowerment"

Group Cites VA's Online Patient Tool for National Award

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The computerized personal health record for veterans created by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) -- My HealtheVet -- has been named a national finalist in the "Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards" given by a national accreditation organization.

VA is one of 19 finalists in the "Best Practices" first-time awards from URAC (formerly the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission), an independent health care accreditation commission. The contest attracted entries detailing innovative and proven programs to enhance patient safety and give consumers control over their health care. Winners represent health plans, pharmacy benefit management organizations, health care management firms and health information technology companies. The finalists will present their programs at a conference in March.

"This award is further evidence VA is a proven leader in using the latest technology to ensure America's veterans receive world-class health care," said Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "America's veterans deserve the best this country has to offer, and VA is achieving that high standard."

Peake noted the number of registrants for My HealtheVet, which offers veterans their own private medical records and data, has topped 500,000."

According to URAC's president and CEO, Alan Spiel, the Best Practices awards are an opportunity for leaders in health care management to find out what others are doing to advance consumers' control of their health care. He called the competition the first of its kind, including entries from both large and small health care management organizations.

"We keep adding features to My HealtheVet to give veterans the tools they need to manage their care as partners with their VA medical providers," said Under Secretary for Health Dr. Michael J. Kussman. "We are proud of this technology and pleased to be recognized for it."

A distinguished panel of judges selected the finalists. Entries were blind-reviewed and scored based on objective criteria.

More information about My HealtheVet can be found at My HealtheVet was a winner of the 2007 "Top 5" Excellence.Gov Awards for innovative technology from the private-sector Industry Advisory Council.

URAC promotes health care quality through accreditation and certification programs. More information about the "Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards" can be found at

In another recent honor, the Web site for VA's health care system was recognized for outstanding achievement by the Web Marketing Association.

The Web site received a "Government Standard of Excellence" award by the association, which is a nonprofit, volunteer organization made up of Internet marketing, online advertising, public relations and Web site design professionals.

The Web Marketing Association's awards were established in 1997 based on seven criteria for a successful Web site. The entries are evaluated by a professional judging panel for design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. Entries cover a range of categories, including a government division.

The VA Web site is

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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