KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Data Hub Will Be Key To Health Law But Also Raises Privacy Concerns

Bloomberg examines the complications involved in building the hub that will connect the databases of seven federal agencies.

Bloomberg: Privacy Fears Loom For Affordable Care Act
The biggest overhaul of the U.S. health-care system in 50 years has spawned one of the most complex computer projects in the government's history. Dubbed the Hub, the $267 million computer system built by a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) is one of the most important determiners of whether the Affordable Care Act succeeds. The hub ties together the databases of seven U.S. agencies, ranging from the Internal Revenue Service to the Peace Corps, to determine which Americans can buy medical coverage and get U.S. subsidies through the new government-run insurance exchanges (Wayne, 7/31).

And another news outlet looks at some of the troubles for doctors and hospitals with digital records.

California Healthline: Effort To Move Patient Data Online May Spur A More Efficient, Affordable Network
The sharing of health care data electronically is in its beginning stages and implementation of new record-keeping systems is creating some confusion among health professionals across the country. But that can be a good thing according to a number of health experts who gathered last week at a health information conference in Santa Rosa. "I'm glad that we've got a bunch of stuff that doesn't work as well as we'd like it to," said Mark Frisse, a professor at Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine in Tennessee. … Many electronic health records can't speak to each other to enable smooth and secure sharing of patient health information and the digital networks that connect these electronic systems -- health information exchanges -- are largely unable to accept data passed between providers, Frisse said (Hart, 7/30).

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