Credit Card or Smart Card?

Some Florida Residents Will Find Out Soon

OCALA, FL-According to American Hospital Association (AHA) News, seniors and other patients belonging to the loyalty program at Munroe Medical Center in Ocala, Florida, will soon be receiving "smart cards" similar to credit cards with a computer chip that stores patient's medical data. Smart card readers will be located in each of the center's 29 ambulances and in 10 locations throughout the health system. They will enable ambulance personnel to swipe the card and fax the data to physicians at the hospital. The hospital will issue about 12,000 cards, including 11,000 to senior members of Prestige 55, a membership program offering free and discounted diagnostic services, wellness classes, and other benefits to people 55 and older. Card distribution will begin in April 2000.