The Department of Health and Human Services this fall will conduct a user satisfaction survey of 500 Medicare beneficiaries who are using personal health records software under pilot programs in Arizona and Utah.

"We know very little about why consumers, and specifically Medicare beneficiaries, elect to use PHRs and what functionality they want from a PHR," the department notes in a notice published May 14 in the Federal Register. "Understanding these needs will be critical if HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are to pursue PHRs as a tool to empower consumers to manage their health and have the capability to link to their provider's EHR."

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