Study: EHRs Could Help Patients Maintain Health Insurance ‘Stability’

April 23, 2015 in News

Electronic health records could be used to help patients track and maintain their health insurance coverage, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, FierceEMR reports.

Study Details

For the study, researchers examined 69,189 pediatric patients’:

  • EHR coverage data;
  • Medicaid coverage data; and
  • Reimbursement data.

Participants were selected from 96 safety-net clinics in the Oregon Community Health Information Network.

The researchers sought to determine whether EHRs could:

  • Help primary care clinics validate coverage in real time; and
  • Help patients maintain care continuity by providing insurance enrollment and retention support.

Study Findings

Overall, the study found EHR data had a high agreement level with Medicaid and reimbursement datasets. In some cases, the EHR data were more accurate.

Therefore, the study concluded that EHRs could be used to validate patients’ coverage (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 4/21).

The researchers wrote that the findings “presen[t] validation for using the EHR as a source of health insurance information and sugges[t] that confidence in this information is possible.” In addition, they wrote that the results also could “support development of EHR-based tools that inform clinic staff about patients’ health insurance status, and engage staff and patients in ensuring insurance stability” (Heintzman et al., JAMIA, 4/17).

The study recommended further research on the topic (FierceEMR, 4/21).

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