Escalating Republican objections to proposed health insurance claims data collections have led the Obama administration to assure the public that it will be limited and secure.
White House defends claims data proposal
Steve Larsen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the CMS, authored a blog post to defend a recent federal regulatory proposal that would create an auditing tool to track the extra payments to insurers with higher numbers of chronically ill that the 2010 healthcare law will provide. The regulations proposed requiring insurers to submit raw claims data to either federal or state officials or allowing insurers assess their own claims and forward on their risk scores.
Larsen said the rule would not allow the collection of personal data, such as patients’ names, social security numbers or addresses through the risk adjustment program.
“Protecting an individual’s personal health information continues to be among CMS’s highest priorities,” Larsen wrote. “That is why CMS will not require states to collect your medical record or information that identifies your doctor; nor would the federal government collect this information.”
Larsen’s description came in the wake of privacy and legal concerns over the collection of such data raised in correspondence from several House Republicans, the most recent of which was an Oct. 13 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education.
He asked for a delay in the implementation of this and other provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “until legal challenges are complete.”
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