MADISON, Wis. (1/20/15)--Under the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the federal government allocated about $30 billion for health information infrastructure to ensure the availability of comprehensive electronic patient records when and where needed.
The industry-wide move to electronic health records (EHRs) means that credit unions can benefit from the continued growth in health care while offering members a valuable service, according to a new report from the Filene Research Institute.
Credit unions are already positioned as secure organizations in their communities, which is essential to the success of health record banks (HRB), according to the paper, "Banking on Healthcare: The Credit Union Business Opportunity."
An HRB serves as the custodian of a comprehensive, integrated copy of a member's personal, private health information, including both medical records and additional personal health data that may be entered by the account holder.
Each member explicitly controls who may access which information in his or her individual account. Three key principles govern HRB operations:
HRBs have a profitable business model at scale, with estimated annual revenue of $26 per account and direct operating costs of just $16. Three major revenue sources have been identified:
Every American is a potential HRB account holder, so the total market size for accounts is approximately 300 million, according to the paper. With estimated revenue of $26 per person per year, the total estimated market is $7 billion to $9 billion annually.
"Supporting an HRB would provide a new population of potential members for additional products," the paper said.