National Partnership for Women & Families

Research Library

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Privacy & Security Concerns Related to Proposed Health Claims Data Warehouse (October 2010)

We are writing to express our concerns about the Health Claims Data Warehouse (the “Warehouse”) announced by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the Federal Register on Oct. 5, 2010.

Comments Related to Health Insurance Exchanges (October 2010)

The Affordable Care Act calls on states to establish new consumer-friendly health insurance marketplaces, referred to as exchanges. If implemented effectively, exchanges can be a trusted, independent resource where women and families can assess plans based on cost, quality, the provider network, and comprehensiveness of benefits.

Comments Regarding Privacy Concerns Related to New requirements for Internal Claims and Appeals and External Review Processes (September 2010)

The Affordable Care Act broadens and strengthens a consumer’s right to appeal decisions made by her health plan, for example refusing to pay claims for a treatment or service. Although we strongly support efforts to ensure that patients have access to a full and fair appeals process, we are concerned that the new rules raise significant privacy concerns that may impinge upon patients’ rights to confidentiality of their medical information.

Comments on the Interim Final Rule Related to Coverage of Preventive Services (September 2010)

Beginning September 23, 2010, all new health plans must cover certain preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. We joined forces with other consumer advocacy and labor organizations to offer recommendations to the Administration on how to strengthen and clarify the rules implementing this important new benefit.

Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule (September 2010)

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), through its Health Privacy Project, promotes comprehensive privacy and security policies to protect health data as information technology is increasingly used to support the exchange of health information. CDT, along with those listed at the end of this letter, submits these comments in response to the July 7, 2010 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued by the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights.

Comments on the Patients Bill of Rights Regulations (August 2010)

The Affordable Care Act includes a number of important new consumer protections, commonly referred to as “The Patients Bill of Rights.” These protections will, beginning this year, provide children with pre-existing conditions access to coverage, and in 2014 provide all people with access to coverage regardless of their health status; ensure that coverage continues to protect people who face serious and costly illnesses by restricting and eventually eliminating annual and lifetime dollar limits; prevent abusive retroactive cancellations of coverage; help people choose providers that will ensure continuous and coordinated care; and improve coverage for people who face an emergency and must obtain treatment out-of-network.

Accounting of Disclosures (May 2010)

The undersigned organizations are members of the Consumer Partnership for e-Health (CPeH), a coalition of consumer, patient, and labor organizations working on both the national and local levels that, since 2005, has served as a strong and diverse consumer voice advocating for patient-centered policies related to health information technology (HIT). We submit these comments in response to the request for information (RFI) on the implementation of the modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s Accounting of Disclosures provisions required by Title XIII, Subtitle D of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Comments on Interim Final Rule on Grandfathered Status (August 2010)

Under the Affordable Care Act, plans existing on or before March 23, 2010 may qualify for “grandfathered status” and not be subject to many of the new insurance market reforms, like coverage of preventive health benefits without cost sharing and strengthened internal and external appeals processes.

Testimony to Expand FMLA

On behalf of the National Partnership for Women & Families, I am pleased to express our strong support for House Bill 2278, The Pennsylvania Family and Medical Leave Act.

Meaningful Use Thank You Letter

On behalf of the 56 undersigned consumer, labor union and employer organizations, we wish to express our sincere gratitude for the strong direction of the final meaningful use rule that was released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 13.

Latinos and Paid Sick Days: The Case for the Healthy Families Act

Nationwide, nearly forty percent of workers—and more than half of Hispanic workers—lack access to paid time off from work when they are ill. Passing the Healthy Families Act, proposed federal legislation that would give workers access to paid sick time, would provide paid sick days access to an additional 30 million workers, including an additional 5.6 million Latino workers.

"Blue Button" Download Capability

Health information technology (health IT) provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 20091 (Recovery Act) set the expectation that individuals will be able to get electronic copies of pertinent health information about themselves.

Hearing on Efforts to Promote the Adoption and Meaningful Use of Health

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Congressman Herger, and distinguished members of the subcommittee. My name is Christine Bechtel and I am Vice President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Just over a year ago, I was also appointed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to serve on the Health IT Policy Committee, where I represent the consumer perspective.

Hearing on Implementation of the HITECH Act

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Congressman Shimkus and members of the subcommittee. My name is Christine Bechtel and I am Vice President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Just over a year ago, I was also appointed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to serve as a consumer representative on the Health IT Policy Committee.

Top 10 Consumer Benefits in Stage 1 Meaningful Use

On July 13, 2010 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule detailing incentive payments for the meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology. With this rule, CMS has ensured that tax-payer-funded incentive payments do not simply go to digitizing paper records but to actually improving the quality of care.

Case Study: How is Health IT Beneficial for Consumers? Using health IT to help individuals be more active in their health care

Susan Crowson is a family caregiver from Maryland who is part of the Campaign for Better Care. She looks after her father, “Pop,” who has Alzheimer’s disease, heart arrhythmia, prostate problems, low blood platelets, and is highly susceptible to other infections.

Appropriations Request (July 2010)

The Campaign for Better Care is a multi-year initiative focused on improving delivery and payment for health care services in ways that enhance quality and coordination of care for older patients and individuals with multiple health problems.

Berwick Nomination (June 2010)

As representatives of consumers, patients, employers, clinicians, health plans, and other health care providers, we write in strong support of the nomination of Don Berwick, M.D., to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We urge Congress to act quickly to confirm Dr. Berwick to this important position.

Paycheck Fairness Act Coalition Poll

In a nationwide poll of registered voters, 84% said they support “a new law that would provide women more tools to get fair pay in the workplace.”

Paid Sick Days: Attitudes and Experiences

Key findings from the 2010 NORC/Public Welfare Foundation national survey on Paid Sick Days

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