Given the HITECH Act and other government initiatives, it's easy to fall prey to the notion that public efforts are largely behind the health IT transition.
But then private sector players make an announcement, and it becomes clear, once again, that forward motion takes a lot of different forms. In this case, the news is that MMRGlobal, Inc. and Healthcare Merchant Solutions (HMS) have entered into an agreement to begin offering MMR's patented MyMedicalRecords PHR to HMS clients currently not doing business with MMR, including physician offices, surgery centers and other healthcare professionals. HMS provides payment processing solutions to more than 1,000 group medical practices and other providers throughout the United States. HMS will also offer a PHR to healthcare professionals who are not currently part of the HMS payment network.
As Robert H. Lorsch, MMRGlobal CEO, described the deal, "As a result of this program, healthcare professionals nationwide can offer a PHR and receive ongoing residual income to help offset the high cost of HIPAA compliance and requirements of Stage 2 meaningful use under HITECH starting in January 2014."
Physicians who participate in the joint program will no longer find it necessary to charge patients for the costs associated with providing patients copies of their personal health information. Instead, when patients sign up for a secure MyMedicalRecords PHR account, which covers up to 10 family members including pets, providers receive ongoing residual payments from MMR to cover those costs for the life of the account.
According to a press release at the time of the announcement, the two companies began working on this relationship in November 2012. HMS says its approach to the market reduces physician processing costs by 50 percent or more than banks and other payment processing gateways. Using its embedded base of more than 1,000 physician clients, HMS will integrate PHRs in addition to the payment processing services they already provide.
Philip Posen, co-Founder of HMS, said, "If each physician we currently support provides an MMR Personal Health Record to only two patients per week, MMR and HMS will end up generating more than $10 million in combined revenue in the first stage of our rollout. From that amount, MMR will pay in excess of $2.5 million a year to physicians to offset costs of processing patient requests for their medical records under HIPAA for the life of a patient's account."