UnitedHealthcare adopts VA’s Blue Button

Blue ButtonThe Blue Button continues to grow.

UnitedHealthcare has launched its Blue Button, implementing a Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Health and Human Services program that enables millions of plan participants to access and print their personal health records with the simple click of a blue button.

UnitedHealthcare members can view, print and download information from various sources, such as claims data, health screenings and self-entry.

An individual’s PHR will include critical health information such as previous or current health conditions, vital signs and procedures and personal information that allow easy sharing of important information.


The Department of Veterans Affairs launched the Blue Button in 2010 to allow simple exchange of a patient’s personal health data in a standard, consistent format.

Initially designed for use by veterans, the idea has taken off in the private sector and has been supported by at least one major care provider overseas. The VA and HHS have encouraged the health industry to adopt the Blue Button.

“Blue Button puts patients in charge of their personal health information. It is central to our vision of patient-centered clinical encounters,” said VA Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin. “The federal Blue Button initiative is a great example of public-private partnerships and open government. With Blue Button the government created a framework that offers patients private and secure access to their data, and is a model for the private sector.”

About half a million veterans and Medicare members, including non-veterans, have already downloaded their records using the Blue Button interface, according to VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker.

“By the end of 2012, we think as many as 75 million people will have access to their medical information through Blue Button,” Baker said. “We’re getting a lot of adoption by private-sector organizations.”

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