More federal health database details coming following privacy alarm

Office of Personnel Management may delay launch of its controversial Health Claims Data Warehouse

By , Computerworld |  Security, Analytics, healthcare

The OPM first announced details of its proposed Health Claims Data Warehouse in a so-called system of records notice(SORN) in the Federal Register in early October.

In its notice, the OPM said that the new database would help the agency more cost-effectively manage the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP), the National Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program and the Multi-State Option Plan.

The OPM said that it would establish direct data feeds with each of the three programs and would continuously collect, manage and analyze health services data.

The data collected would include individuals' names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, plus the names of their spouses and other information about dependents, and information about their healthcare coverage, procedures and diagnoses, OPM said in its notice.

In addition to using the data for its own internal analysis, the OPM will also make it available, if required, for law enforcement purposes and for use in judicial or administrative proceedings, and to "researchers and analysts" inside and outside government for healthcare research purposes, the OPM notice said.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is .

Read more about privacy in Computerworld's Privacy Topic Center.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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