Rep. Denny Rehberg is demanding more information about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to build a patient health record database that would be used in reinsurance and risk adjustment programs.
Rehberg, R-Mont. – the chairman of the Labor, Health & Human Services and Education subcommittee at the House Appropriations Committee – has expressed those concerns in a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) takes effect as written and works as drafters expect, it will require health insurers to sell individual and small group coverage on a guaranteed-issue, mostly community-rated basis starting in 2014.
PPACA also is supposed to create a new system of health insurance exchanges that will help individuals buy health coverage using a new, tax-credit-based subsidy.
HHS officials are trying to develop reinsurance programs and risk adjustment programs to protect health insurers against the possibility that they might attract sicker-than-expected enrollees as a result of the changes.
To support the reinsurance and risk adjustment programs, HHS would develop a patient information database.