DALLASOct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — A HealthMine survey revealed that Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries are mostly unsure, or cannot digitally access, their electronic medical record. This is despite the fact that nearly all hospitals are offering a patient portal, according to an issue brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  In addition, nearly all health plans offer member portals. The HealthMine survey shows that 45 percent of MA beneficiaries are “not sure” if their plan offers digital access to a patient portal, 18 percent said they have “no access,” and 7 percent noted they can access their portal but “not easily.” Just 30 percent noted it was “easy to access.” More than half (54 percent) of respondents said they’re interested in accessing their own claims/records. The results are from a HealthMine survey of 800 Medicare Advantage plan members in 2019.

Related research shows that older adults are not connecting to their health data online. A study from The National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted by the University of Michigan, assessed older adults’ reasons for not setting up their patient portal. Forty percent (40%) said they do not like communicating about their health by computer; thirty-eight percent (38%) do not have a need for a portal, thirty-three percent (33%) were unaware they needed to set something up, twenty-nine percent (29%) have not gotten around to it, and finally 26 percent (26%) are not comfortable with technology and/or their provider does not offer a portal option.

Added to the above roadblocks is the fact that internet usage for older adults is not widespread. According to Pew Research, in 2018, two in three people 65 and over (66 percent) were using the internet. This compares to almost 100 percent of those aged 18-34.

And, while almost all hospitals are providing a patient portal, the general U.S. public (all adults) is not fully taking advantage of the convenience. Reports revealed that over half (62 percent) of hospitals said less than 25 percent of their patient populations are using a patient portal. So even the most connected Americans are not connected to their health.

According to HealthMine Vice President of Member Engagement Products, Nicole Althaus, “The good news is almost all providers and plans in the health care system are offering patient portals for electronic medical record access. Not all Americans are taking advantage of this convenience. It’s not only confined to Medicare beneficiaries.  We know connecting patients to data in real-time is the key to patients taking health actions to avert health care incidents.”

Detailed results below:

Does your health plan give you digital access to your medical history or electronic medical record (EMR)?

Yes—NOT easy to get           7%

Yes— easy to get                    30%

No                                           18%

Not sure                                   45%

Do you have interest in accessing your own claims/records data?                                                         

Yes      54%

No       27%

Don’t know     19%

About the Survey
The 2019 HealthMine Medicare Survey queried 800 insured age 65+ consumers with a chronic condition who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in May 2019. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error was three percent (3%). Dynata fielded the survey. Dynata is one of the world’s leading providers of first-party data contributed by consumers and business professionals.

About HealthMine
HealthMine is the only Health Action as a Service company (HAaaS) originally built inside a Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) health plan. HealthMine’s services help health plans target and empower individuals to take actions that improve clinical outcomes while decreasing total cost of care and increasing plan revenue. HealthMine is online at www.healthmine.com.

SOURCE HealthMine, Inc.

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