Tags: Emerging Threats | Healthcare Reform | obamacare | medicare | health | records | database

Feds Seek Security Experts for Vast Obamacare Records' Trove

Friday, 02 Jan 2015 01:58 PM

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a notice seeking contractors to run its records division for Obamacare and Medicare, and to prevent sensitive private information being leaked or stolen.

The National Data Warehouse division (NDW) is a database for "capturing, aggregating, and analyzing information" tied to customer experiences with Medicare and the federal healthcare exchanges, according to The Weekly Standard.

But the Health and Human Service (HHS) notice says that it’s looking for vendors who can also demonstrate "security in protecting data and information with customer, person-sensitive information including personal health and personally identifiable information."

Obamacare has led to the building a giant database with the personal information of millions of Americans as part of its effort to run the system, and HHS has tried to assure customers that the information will be secure.

But after the Internal Revenue Service conservative targeting scandal and the National Security Agency leaks by fugitive Edward Snowden, critics have claimed that the public’s private information is at risk.

"The potential for abuse is enormous," says James S. Robbins, the deputy editor of Rare.com, noting that the massive database includes "income and financial data, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status, Social Security numbers, and private health information."

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency in charge of Medicare and Obamacare, has been keeping a "national data warehouse" related to the Medicare helpline for several years.

But since the Affordable Care Act was passed, giving rise to the formation of the healthcare insurance exchanges, the extent of the NDW database has grown significantly, and the resulting security concerns have led to the necessity of HHS searching for special contractors to take on the extra workload.

The CMS notice says, "The NDW performs a significant role with oversight and monitoring functions under the Virtual Call Center Strategy initiative and Medicare reform legislation.

"The NDW acts as the central repository for capturing, aggregating, and analyzing information related to the beneficiary experience with Medicare and the consumer experience with Marketplaces.

"The NDW also serves as a foundation for operational and management reporting to support improved decision-making, business practices, and services to callers."

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The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a notice seeking contractors to run its records division for Obamacare and Medicare, and to prevent sensitive private information being leaked or stolen.
obamacare, medicare, health, records, database
363
2015-58-02
Friday, 02 Jan 2015 01:58 PM
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