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Health IT startup offers single EHR option

When a new health IT company’s name sounds like a call to action, you can tell right away that the enterprise, even while for-profit, has a sense of mission. is an outgrowth of the modern patient advocacy movement typified by activists such as Regina Holiday and David Harlow, a Boston lawyer who specializes in HIPAA issues and is one of the creators of the HealthCamp alterna-conference.

Not coincidentally, Harlow is general counsel and spokesman for the San Francisco-based company, which released its signature platform this week: Flow Health, an open API- and cloud-based system that helps patients compile health records scattered among disparate providers.

Patients hand over basic identifying information to Flow Health, which forwards requests for records to providers. When the records come back, Flow Health reconstitutes the information into a single, provider-agnostic EHR.

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, patients have the right to receive their records within 30 days of a request.

“It’s our data. Under HIPAA, everyone has the right to get it in the format they request,” Harlow noted. That means no static, unwieldy PDFs or quaint paper records.

Flow Health uses the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard required by ONC’s meaningful use EHR certification program, which puts the data into usable formats with common data definitions, just like in a modern EHR.

Of course, Harlow said, all the information that Flow Health gathers is HIPAA protected.

“It pulls together all your health records and they get stitched together in a unified manner,” Harlow told SearchHealthIT. “This is an opportunity to see your health records all together in a single view.”

The company’s founders are Robert Rowley, M.D., former CMO of cloud EHR vendor Practice Fusion, and Alex Meshkin, a health IT entrepreneur who once ran a Toyota NASCAR racing team.

Since the Flow Health service is free to patients, the company obviously intends to make money in other ways.

Its methodology, as Harlow explained it, is to sell “value-added tools,” such as population health services, to physician practices and other providers to help manage care of groups of patients with chronic illnesses.