To be actively involved in your own medical care, you need to understand the basics about electronic medical records, health information exchanges, and more. Check out our primer.
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The most common type of PHR consists of claims and lab and drug data supplied by your employer or a health insurer. (Aetna's PHR is shown here.) Most major national insurers and many regional health plans offer these PHRs to their members. More than 70 million people have access to these PHRs, but only a small percentage of those consumers use them. Claims-based PHRs have some disadvantages, including the fact that their information is usually out of date and is less accurate than clinical data, which reflects more closely what services were provided to you. On the other hand, claims-based PHRs keep better track of what was done for you across all care settings because all providers that contract with your health plan submit claims for payment.