Ed Silverstein reports:
A case from Vermont involving Liberty Mutual and its participation in a state database is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The specific issue in this case, Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, is whether self-funded employer plans may be required to supply claims data to state all-payer claims databases (APCDs).
The plaintiff, Liberty Mutual, argues that Vermont’s APCD statute, as applied to a self-funded plan, is preempted by ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), which is a federal law.
Liberty Mutual refused to submit claims data for its employees and other covered members in Vermont (approximately 140 people total), according to sources.
The states have a legitimate interest in developing healthcare policies and evaluating costs and services, and the data are supposedly de-identified. So is there still a privacy issue here, and even if there is, does the state have a legitimate argument that it needs the data to perform its functions? I wouldn’t be surprised if the state prevails on this one.
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