Joseph Conn and Adam Rubenfire report:
Data mining of patient medical records kept by the federal government will get a boost by the CMS, following the release of finalized changes to the so-called Qualified Entity Program.
The final rule released Friday authorizes certain CMS-approved organizations – including for-profit companies – to buy Medicare claims and other federal data at a price that matches the governments’ cost in processing the data. These “qualified entities” can then combine it with patient data from insurance companies, providers and other sources, and then resell that data to those organizations and others, including employers and devicemakers.
The final rule doesn’t differ substantially from the proposed rule, though it did modify the definition of an “authorized user” to clarify that the data can be used by contractors or business associates of the authorized users that are buying or being given the data. It also included government entities as possible end-users.
Read more on Modern Healthcare.
Somehow I only see more privacy erosion and bigger data breaches coming out of this. Maybe I’m just jaded, but…