WASHINGTON: Working out the Obama health law details

By Jamie Dupree

With less than eight weeks until open enrollment officially begins for those who need to purchase health insurance through the state exchanges, the coming weeks and months will provide us with a front row seat into how ready the Obama Administration really is for the implementation of the President’s signature health law.

The lay of the land politically isn’t difficult to predict: Republicans will seize on any story or report where the law is falling short, while Democrats will emphasize the positives.

The latest piece of information for us to chew on is all about data, as in your health information and personal data that will be entered into a giant “Data Services Hub” run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

A report from the Inspector General in the Health and Human Services Department found issues with the IT security controls that will be deployed to protect the information in that hub, and whether or not they will be ready on October 1.

While the report found that CMS “is addressing and testing security controls,” questions were raised about the fact that “several critical tasks remain to be completed in a short period of time.”



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