Built with settlement money from health insurance companies, it will help drive down medical costs, says New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
The attorney general investigated the Ingenix database, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth. "[A]s a subsidiary of the second-largest insurer in the nation, Ingenix had a vested interest in helping set rates low, so companies could underpay patients for out-of-network services," the attorney general's office said. The result was that "consumers were forced to pay more than they should have," by 10-28%.
"Beginning in January, Attorney General Cuomo secured agreements with every national and regional health insurer operating in New York State to end their use of the Ingenix database and financially commit to the new, independent database," the attorney general's office said.
Using the new database, consumers will be able to look up procedures and find out how much they'll be reimbursed, so they'll know the cost of a treatment before they get it, the attorney general's office said.
About 70 percent of insured working families have out-of-network plans that let them choose their own doctors, a system that affects more than 110 million people, Cuomo said.
The insurance industry can benefit from the change too, Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, told the Associated Press. Health insurers say the prices doctors charge for care vary greatly around the country. "Hopefully this database will help shed light on the exorbitant prices that out-of-network providers are charging for some services," Zirkelbach said.
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email StrategyCost, time, and risk. It's the demand trifecta vying for the attention of both technology professionals and attorneys charged with balancing the expectations of their clients and business units with the hard reality of the current financial and regulatory climate. Sometimes, organizations assume high levels of risk as a result of their inability to meet the costs involved in data protection. In other instances, it's time that's of the essence, as with a data breach.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.