Two Florida Insurers Balk at Privacy Concerns in State Database
As a plan to bring price transparency to health care services in Florida moves forward, two major insurance companies are expressing concerns about possible violations of privacy and trade secrets.
The state government’s Health Care Cost Institute has been working with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to create a website compiling claims data from health insurance companies across the state, to give consumers estimates of the average cost of specific procedures.
Some Do, Some Don’t
The data from the companies were due in September. Several major insurers, such as Aetna, Humana, and United Healthcare, have cooperated with AHCA, but Florida Blue and AvMed have not turned in the requested information, expressing concerns about privacy and trade secrets.
When asked how the lack of data from some of the state’s largest insurers would affect the program, Justin Senior, secretary of AHCA, said in an interview with the Naples Daily News, “We share that con- cern with people and we are making sure that the information that is out there is a critical mass of data for it to be accurate and relevant.”
Awarded Though Incomplete
Although opponents of the database have criticized AHCA’s website, FloridaHealthPriceFinder, for being incomplete, AHCA spokeswoman Shelisha Coleman said in a statement the site is giving “Floridians ... more access to health care information than ever before,” despite its currently incomplete condition.
The website received the Digital Government Achievement Award from the Center for Digital Government this year. The award is bestowed on “innovative and citizen-centric” government websites and applications.
Nicole Staley (Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org) writes from Pensacola, Florida.