Financial instrument which may be used to reimburse or pay for health care products and services. Includes both insurance and self-payment. This resource may also be used to register ‘SelfPay’ where an individual or organization other than an insurer is taking responsibility for payment for a portion of the health care costs. Selfpay should not be confused with being a guarantor of the patient’s account.
The eClaim domain includes a number of related insurance resources:
– The Coverage resource is intended to provide the high-level identifiers and descriptors of a specific insurance plan for a specific individual – essentially the insurance card information. This may alternately provide the individual or organization, selfpay, which will pay for products and services rendered.
– A Contract resource holds the references to parties who have entered into an agreement of some type, the parties who may sign or witness such an agreement, descriptors of the type of agreement and even the actual text or executable copy of the agreement. The agreement may be of a variety of types including service contracts, insurance contracts, directives, etc. The contract may be either definitional or actual instances.
– The Insurance Plan resource holds the definition of an insurance plan which an insurer may offer to potential clients through insurance brokers or an online insurance marketplace. This is only the plan definition and does not contain or reference a list of individuals who have purchased the plan.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is a draft standard describing data formats and elements (known as “resources”) and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organization.
Its goal is to facilitate interoperation between legacy healthcare systems, to make it easy to provide healthcare information to healthcare providers and individuals on a wide variety of devices from computers to tablets to cell phones, and to allow third-party application developers to provide medical applications which can be easily integrated into existing systems.
FHIR provides an alternative to document-centric approaches by directly exposing discrete data elements as services. For example, basic elements of healthcare like patients, admissions, diagnostic reports and medications can each be retrieved and manipulated via their own resource URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). FHIR was supported at an American Medical Informatics Association meeting by many EHR (Electronic Health Record) vendors which value its open and extensible nature.