Covered California to collect health records
June 22, 2015
Records of prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays belonging to Covered California enrollees will soon be part of a state database. [LA Times]
Covered California, has announced plans to collect health insurance data on every patient. Executives say the data is needed in order to hold health insurance companies and medical providers accountable under the Affordable Care Act.
State exchange officials plan to use the data to answer questions like how many diabetics are having their chronic condition managed correctly and how many screening tests for cancer led to early diagnosis and treatment. The 1.4 million state residents enrolled in Covered California will not be allowed to opt out of the data collection program.
“To understand the quality of care being provided, you need everybody in,” Covered California chief Peter Lee said. “Without the data, we are only delivering on half the promise of the Affordable Care Act. We have to get beyond measuring access by anecdote.”
Some health policy experts applaud the move, arguing it could pressure insurers to better serve patients, and it could give the state a bargaining chip in rate negotiations. Privacy advocates, however, are criticizing the plan.
“There is potential for so much public good, but there is a greater public good in protecting privacy and security,” said Michelle De Mooy, of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology. “I think asking permission is absolutely integral. It is not the state’s data.”