Photo: Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt

A PHR, which is controlled by the consumer, is different than an electronic health record (EHR), which is owned by and under the control of the physician.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the launch of the Medicare PHR Choice Pilot in Arizona and Utah. This pilot program will offer beneficiaries with Original Medicare the opportunity to choose one of the personal health record (PHR) products offered by the companies selected for the pilot. PHRs will allow beneficiaries to maintain their health record information electronically and Medicare will add claims data directly to the PHRs for this pilot.

"With up-to-date, accurate and accessible personal health records, Medicare beneficiaries avoid the pitfalls of paper records by having critical information available when they need to make health care decisions," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said.

"This pilot provides beneficiaries with a choice of products to meet their individual needs," HHS Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy said at a news conference and partners meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, while launching the pilot.

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