HHS and CVS Health: Working Together to Put Prevention Info at Your Fingertips
This week at Health Datapolooza 2015, I announced a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CVS Health to put lifesaving information about preventive services into the hands of millions of consumers where they are already looking for it—on CVS Health’s MinuteClinic.com and CVS.com/myhealthfinder websites. As a physician, I recommend preventive services, such as cholesterol screening, routine vaccinations, and wellness counseling, to help keep my patients healthy and catch diseases early when treatment is often more effective and less costly. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the focus of healthcare is shifting from treatment to prevention and most health plans are required to provide coverage for certain recommended preventive health care services without co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible. In fact, today, about 137 million Americans have private insurance coverage of preventive services without having to pay a co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible—including over 55 million women and 28 million children.
Our collaboration with CVS Health was made possible by one of our projects that has been an example of innovation in the federal government since 1997. Nearly two decades ago, healthfinder.gov was the first government website designed to share health information with consumers and improve health literacy. Since then, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion within HHS has developed the current healthfinder.gov website into a trusted, credible source for easy-to-understand prevention and wellness information. Through myhealthfinder, an interactive tool available on the website, you can enter your age, sex, and pregnancy status to receive customized wellness and prevention information along with steps you can take with your provider and at home to prevent illnesses and improve your health.
To make myhealthfinder more readily available to more people, we recently developed a free, publically available application programming interface (API) to integrate the tool into any website. The API imports up-to-date information directly from healthfinder.gov. When you use myhealthfinder on other websites, you will always have access to the most accurate prevention and wellness information and recommendations that are supported by current science through the API. CVS Health is using the API to integrate myhealthfinder into MinuteClinic websites as part of a pilot project that will help us gather important information that could inform improvements to future versions of the tool.
Anyone can use the API to integrate myhealthfinder into websites, mobile apps and even wearable fitness devices. We encourage those who are developing new personal health management technologies to explore innovative opportunities to use myhealthfinder to empower patients with lifesaving wellness and prevention information. Please contact us with ideas for future collaborations.
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