Health care providers and consumers are already sharing personal information and information about their health, but what happens when health care providers also share that information with businesses?
A new bank of health information is part of the effort, and the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that the first step in creating the new system is a new website.
The agency is offering free access to a database of health data for anyone to use, but the site is expected to cost $150 per year for people without a credit card.
The first public version of the health information bank will be available on Nov. 1, HHS said.
In addition to providing access to health data from all 50 states, the government will use the information to create new financial tools that could be used by health care organizations and consumers to manage their health care costs.
The new toolkit includes tools that can help consumers to pay their health bills, help doctors determine whether they need to treat certain illnesses, and even offer consumers advice on how to manage riskier health behaviors, such as smoking.
“The public health benefits of this new tool are clear: more people with more choices, fewer barriers to care, and improved access to care for everyone,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
“This new toolset is an important step in the development of a new, universal health information exchange.”
The new health information database will be accessible only through a credit-card-free website.
It will be built from the ground up to support new health data needs for health care.
It includes the most recent medical data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as data from other government sources and health care professionals, such like physicians and nurses.
The database also includes data from more than 700 medical devices and devices that have been identified as having harmful health effects, such the drugs that can cause liver cancer, HIV, and tuberculosis.
A “health information safety net” will help prevent medical errors, like those that lead to over-the-counter prescriptions.
“Health information is one of the greatest untapped resources for the prevention and treatment of disease, including disease-related deaths,” said Dr. Richard H. Frieden, director of the Centers and Global Health Division at the Centers of Disease Control.
“We can use this information to reduce the burden of disease on society by preventing medical errors and preventing needless deaths.”
The health information system will be made available through the Health Information Sharing Act (HISA), which is the federal health data exchange.
The HISA is set to be the largest health information sharing system in history, but it will take at least three years to be fully implemented.
The process to create the new health-information bank is not fully complete, however.
In December, the Department said it will release an interim version of a draft version of its bill to establish the new bank.
In the interim, HHS will be looking for feedback on how the data should be used.
Consumers can expect to receive the new database at a public hearing in Washington, D.C., next month.
The department said the bank is expected be ready for use by early next year.
The information will be used to help businesses, like hospitals and nursing homes, better understand patients and improve care.
Consumers will be able to access the data by registering on the new website and using the information in other ways, including by sending an email, calling a patient, and downloading a health-related app.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement that the health-info-sharing system is designed to be “useful to consumers to help them manage their costs and avoid unnecessary costs.”
The agency said that people can also sign up for health alerts and health check-ins, which will be added to the bank as new health conditions emerge.
In March, HHS released a list of health-care professionals and hospitals that will receive access to the new tool.