San Mateo/CA, October 16, 2006 – InterComponentWare (ICW), an international eHealth specialist, commends Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI) for introducing the Personalized Health Information Act. The bill proposes to set up a fund to provide financial incentives for physicians who establish interactive electronic personal health records (PHRs) for their patients.
ICW learned from one of its recent projects that healthcare providers are more likely to enroll patients in PHRs when a monetary incentive is provided: The number of users of ICW’s PHR LifeSensor jumped considerably when the Patient Partner Network (PPV) – a network of 350 physicians in Bavaria, Germany – agreed to contract with a major German health insurance provider (AOK Bavaria), and Physicians received a cash incentive for each of their patients who use a PHR. The Bavarian physicians’ network has recently been recognized as the most advanced network in Germany and Switzerland in a study by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Dr. Blackford Middleton, Chairman of the Center for Information Technology Leadership (CITL), also strongly supports the bill: “Although the growing trend toward systems interoperability will allow physicians to move a patient’s data from their electronic health record into a patient’s PHR with the ease of a mouse click, private practices and clinics in particular should be able to receive compensation for their efforts in adopting healthcare information technology. Maximizing the value of PHRs, which can increase the quality of care, requires continuous physician input. Kennedy’s Personalized Health Information Act addresses this issue timely and will be key in promoting the use of PHRs.” Middleton is also a member of the ICW Inc Advisory Board.