Florida Medicaid Health Info Network

By: Whitney Ray
By: Whitney Ray

Today the Agency for Health Care Administration launched the Florida Medicaid Health Information Network, becoming the first state in the country to make the move toward a paperless system. The move is expected to save money and improve quality, but concerns about security surround the new system.

The Florida Medicaid Health Information Network will give 2.6 million Floridians a chance to access their medical data online. Medicaid patients who sign up will have 18 months worth of checkups, prescriptions, and surgeries available to their doctors with just a few mouse clicks.

Tom Arnold is Secretary of the state’s Medicaid Health Information Network.

“They can look at the benefits that that person is eligibility for. They can submit claims to us and other payers through this portal.

“For Medicaid patient who sign up for the program, they can have their medical records accessed immediately, even if they are in an accident away from home.”

The network will allow doctors to better serve patients who are incapacitated, but the instant access comes at a price. Larry Spalding, an attorney for the ACLU says there isn’t an online network that can’t be hacked.

“This is not a panacea. With all the good that will hopefully come from these types of systems, there are real personal dangers larking out there.

Russ Thomas, the president of the company overseeing the network says his company has a flawless record.

“We have not had a release or exposure of date in the eight years that we have been in business, but if it is exposed, it is our duty to report that.”

Signup for the network is voluntary for Medicaid patients; the state will evaluate the success of the program after two years and will consider an expansion.

To sign up for the Florida Medicaid Health Information network go to www.floridahealthfinder.gov

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