Glenn Beck claimed on his radio show that President Obama's health care reform proposal "order[s] a comprehensive database on health claims, so everything that you do is going into a computer database for the federal government." In fact, nothing in the proposal supports the outlandish claim that it would result in the tracking of "everything you do"; the "database" it describes -- originally included in a Republican proposal -- would contain records related to sanctions on Medicare and Medicaid providers.
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Beck stokes fears about government tracking "everything you do"
From the February 22 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
BECK: It's ordering a comprehensive database on health claims, so everything that you do is going into a computer database for the federal government.
"Database" -- proposed by GOP -- would track sanctions on providers
Database centralizes records of sanctions. The only "database" mentioned in the proposal is a "Comprehensive Sanctions Database" that would compile Medicare and Medicaid sanctions on health care providers and give law-enforcement agencies access to that information. From the president's health care reform proposal:
Comprehensive Sanctions Database. The President's Proposal establishes a comprehensive Medicare and Medicaid sanctions database, overseen by the HHS Inspector General. This database will provide a central storage location, allowing for law enforcement access to information related to past sanctions on health care providers, suppliers and related entities. (Source: H.R. 3400, "Empowering Patients First Act" (Republican Study Committee bill))
(g) COMPREHENSIVE SANCTIONS DATABASE. -- The [Health and Human Services] Secretary shall establish a comprehensive sanctions data base on sanctions imposed on providers of services, suppliers, and related entities. Such database shall be overseen by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services and shall be linked to related databases maintained by State licensure boards and by Federal or State law enforcement agencies.
"Data bank" established in 1996 to fight abuse by health care providers, suppliers
Obama's proposal also refers to the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank, but HIPDP, which was created in 1996, does not track "everything you do"; rather, it collects information on "actions taken against health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers."
President's proposal expands access to data bank of abuses by health care providers. From the president's health care reform proposal:
Expanded Access to the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank. Increasing access to the health care integrity data bank will improve coordination and information sharing in anti-fraud efforts. The President's Proposal broadens access to the data bank to quality control and peer review organizations and private plans that are involved in furnishing items or services reimbursed by Federal health care program. It includes criminal penalties for misuse. (Source: H.R. 3970, "Medical Rights & Reform Act" (Kirk bill))
HIPDB created by 1996 legislation. From the website of the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank:
The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Office of Inspector General (OIG), was directed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to create the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) to combat fraud and abuse in health insurance and health care delivery.
Data bank collects information on "actions taken against health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers." From a fact sheet on the HIPDB website:
The HIPDB is a national data collection program for the reporting and disclosure of certain final adverse actions taken against health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers. The HIPDB collects and disseminates to eligible queriers information on:
- Health care-related civil judgments taken in Federal or State court.
- Health care-related criminal convictions taken in Federal or State court.
- Federal or State licensing and certification actions, including revocations, reprimands, censures, probations, suspensions, and any other loss of license, or the right to apply for or renew a license, whether by voluntary surrender, non-renewability, or otherwise.
- Exclusions from participation in Federal or State health care programs.
- Any other adjudicated actions or decisions defined in the HIPDB regulations.