Medicare’s Blue Button


Pros: The Blue Button, from Medicare, allows users to download personal health information to a file for saving on a computer or portable device, such as a USB. The file may be imported into other computer-based PHRs. The service is free to Medicare recipients.

Cons: This is not a PHR in itself, it is a service for downloading medical information from Medicare files.

The Bottomline: This service allows users to download data to a text file. It is located on the MyMedicare.gov website in various areas for claims and reports. The 4/5 star rating is only because there is no PHR provided for patient use.

Editor’s Rating:

Reviewed on October 4, 2013

Summary:

Medicare’s Blue Button is a tool to assist users with downloading documents from within the Medicare system. Medicare does not offer a PHR.

Medicare Blue Button

Features:
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The Blue Button allows Medicare users to download personal health information to a file that may be saved to a personal computer or USB drive. The files may be printed as well. It saves the data in Excel format and may be imported into any PHR that will accept spreadsheet data.

The PHR can then be maintained and updated by the patient, who can take it to provider appointments. It can be encrypted for added privacy or printed for portability.