OPM Delays Launch of Federal Health Claims Database Until Dec. 15

On Monday, the Office of Personnel Management published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it would delay the planned launch of its Health Claims Data Warehouse until Dec. 15 to accommodate more public comments, Computerworld reports.

Background

The database originally was slated to launch on Nov. 15. The project aimed to help OPM manage the:

  • Federal Employee Health Benefit Program;
  • Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program; and
  • Multi-State Option Plan.

The centralized database eventually would contain information on millions of U.S. residents enrolled in the three programs, including their:

  • Names;
  • Social Security numbers;
  • Medical diagnoses; and
  • Insurance coverage.

Concerns

The decision to delay the database's launch comes after several privacy groups expressed concern that OPM did not provide sufficient details about:

  • Why the database is needed;
  • Who will have access to the information; and
  • How the data will be secured.

Notice Details

In the Federal Register notice, OPM said it might revise its original systems of records notice to:

  • Better explain its authority to operate the database;
  • Provide more detailed information on planned privacy and security protections for the database; and
  • Clarify its intentions to limit how the data can be shared.

OPM did not indicate when it planned to publish a revised systems of records notice (Vijayan, Computerworld, 11/15).


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