Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Is First Insurance Company To Partner with Google Health

6/12/08Follow @gthuang

The face of online health care is changing in Massachusetts—and probably for the better. Today one of the state’s leading health insurance companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), announced that it has signed an agreement to integrate with the Google Health platform. It is the first health insurance company to do so.

Google Health, a free service that patients can use to organize their health information online, launched in the U.S. last month with a list of provider partners that includes the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (as we reported here), Cleveland Clinic, Walgreens, and CVS/CareMark.

The integration is supposed to be finished sometime this fall, at which time Google Health will be offered to BCBSMA members. The service will allow members to store and manage their medical records and health info (including insurance claims) in one secure location, download their prescription history from other connected providers such as pharmacies and doctors’ offices, and search for a doctor or hospital online.

You wouldn’t necessarily expect a huge insurance company to be quick on its feet when it comes to adopting technology, but BCBSMA has previously funded the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative and is a founding member of the Massachusetts eRx Collaborative. The Google partnership should give members “easier and more portable access to their health care information,” said Steven Fox, BCBSMA’s vice president of provider network management, in a statement.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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