Capitol Hill Grills Administration Officials Over "Data-Hub" for HIX Deployment

by Patrick Riley 02 Aug 2013
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There were two hearings yesterday in Washington, one before the Ways and Means Committee and the other in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee. At the latter session, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testified. Most of the Congressional interest and questions surrounded the so called, "Data Hub."

Ms. Tavenner described the data-hub as a "kind of router you probably have to hook up in your home." Not exactly a very comprehensive explanation to ease concerns of lawmakers. In theory, the data-hub is supposed to connect online shoppers for health insuranc with the IRS (validate income) and the social security administration (to check eligibility and/or enrollment in Medicare or Medicaid). Which, is obviously a Herculean task.

Tavenner and IRS officials assured Congress that testing was ongoing, problems are immediately being addressed and all is well. Daniel Wefel of the IRS also indicated testing was ongoing and that he would share results of this work with Congress, as they asked to see data and test outcomes.

Republicans and Democrats alike are very anxious to learn more about how the data-hub will verify income as subsidies will be made available. The fear is, without being able to validate an household income, fraud will be rampant the subsidy bank account will get drained due to false claims.

Both CMS and the IRS have promised, make that testified under oath, that everything will work, come 1 October. We will see and continue to follow the data-hum trail.

Please look for much more on this subject and you can follow me on @Patrick_FrostHC to learn more about the HIX data-hub.

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