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Amid Privacy Outcry, OPM to Provide More Info on Claims Database

OPM Head John Berry; Photo: opm.gov, case-connect.com

The Office of Personnel Management is likely to provide more information about a federal healthcare claims database in the face of outcry from privacy advocates.

OPM was also scheduled to unveil the database Nov. 15, but Computerworld reports the date will also likely be postponed, so the public has more time to evaluate the program.

The proposed Health Claims Data Warehouse drew the ire of privacy advocates, such as the Center for Democracy and Technology. CDT’s leaders had sent a letter to OPM head John Berry, requesting more information, Computerworld reports.

A spokesman for CDT emphasized the group was not opposed to a claims clearinghouse, only that it was concerned the new system have necessary security controls in place.

The database would act as a clearinghouse for three healthcare claims programs: the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, the National Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program and the Multi-State Option Plan.

The data collected would include names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, along with spouse information. OPM will use the data for internal analyses and, if required, turn the information over to law enforcement and judicial proceedings, as necessary.

OPM has said the database is a cost-effective solution to managing the data stored on the three systems.

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