About Blue Button
Do you want to feel more in control of your health and your personal health information? Do you have a health issue? Are you caring for an elderly parent? Are you changing doctors? Do you need to find the results of a medical test or a complete and current list of your medications? Blue Button may be able to help.
Millions of Americans can get easy, secure online access to their health records thanks to “Blue Button”. Health information about you may be stored in many places, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, drug stores and health insurance companies. Blue Button is a way you can access your health records electronically so you can:
- Share them with your doctor or trusted family members or caregivers
- Check to make sure the information, such as your medication list, is accurate and complete
- Keep track of when your child had his/her last vaccination
- Have your medical history available in case of emergency, when traveling, seeking a second opinion, or switching health insurance companies
- Plug your health information into apps and tools that help you set and reach personalized health goals.
The Blue Button lets you go online and download your health records so you can use them to improve your health, have more control over your personal health information and your family’s healthcare. You have a legal right to receive your personal health information. Although Blue Button is in its early stages, it is expanding rapidly. Ask your health care providers or health insurance company if they offer you the ability to view online, download, and share your health records via Blue Button and look for the Blue Button logo.
Watch this video to find out why:
As Americans, we each have the legal right to access our own health records held by doctors, hospitals and others who provide healthcare services for us. And we have the option of getting our records on paper or electronically depending on how they are stored. You can exercise your rights by clicking on the Blue Button logo online to download your health records, or, if you don’t see it, asking how to get a copy of your health records. Some doctors or hospitals may not be familiar with your rights to access your information about your own health. You can print out and share with them a letter that explains these rights [PDF - 82 KB] or you can watch this video by the HHS Office of Human Rights:
It depends on whether you are getting information from your health care provider (doctor, hospital, nursing home, etc.), your health insurance company, or another source such as a drug store or a lab since each has different kinds of information. In general, you may expect to be able to electronically access important information such as:
- Current medications you are taking
- Any allergies you may have
- Medical treatment information from your doctor or hospital visits
- Your lab test results
- Your health insurance claims information (financial information, clinical information and more)
Until recently, many health records were stored in paper files, so it wasn't very easy for you to access or use this information. But all that is changing as more doctors and hospitals adopt electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technologies, including mobile health apps.
Medicare beneficiaries can view and download their Medicare claims data in a more timely and user-friendly format than ever before through the Medicare Blue Button. And that information now covers three years of your health history, including claims information on services covered under Medicare Parts A and B, and a list of medications that were purchased under Part D.
Veterans can use the Blue Button on the MyHealtheVet website to download demographic information (age, gender, ethnicity and more); emergency contacts; a list of their prescription medications, clinical notes; and wellness reminders.
Beginning January 2014, users visiting the Blue Button Connector will be able to see a complete list of organizations offering their members the ability to view and download their health records securely online.
You may want to check back often as more and more organizations join. Blue Button is not yet available to everyone, but it is rapidly growing, and if you ask for it you can help grow it faster.