OPM's 2008 HIT Report

OPM has posted on the web its 2008 report on health information technology and transparency initiatives in the FEHB Program. These are the findings:

• 95 percent of FEHB plans have taken steps to educate their members on the value of HIT.• 75 percent of plans, representing 96 percent of total FEHB enrollment, will have PHRs available for their members in 2009. In 2007, only 51 percent of plans reported offering PHRs.
• Although the majority of FEHB plans continue to report that less the 5 percent of their members have actually used their PHRs to conduct one or more sessions, 16 percent of plans reported over 75% of their members used PHRs.
• Types of personal health records vary; 22 percent of plans report their PHRs are populated by members; 30 percent report they are populated with health plan claims data with the option for members to add personal information; 8 percent are populated by electronic medical records, with the ability to add information, and 15 percent allow members to view their personal health information with no ability for the member to up-date the information.
• 69 percent of plans report they have online physician or hospital cost estimators or comparison tools on their web sites.
• 77 percent of plans report they have online tools which compare physician or hospital quality.
• 26 percent of health plans state they provide financial incentives to providers for e-Prescribing.
• All FEHB plans are required to comply with Federal law and policy requirements to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information. All indicate they provide members with access to privacy policies describing their compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).