Texas employers gain more access to health records

April 3, 2008

Federal law allows insurers to pass along disidentified health information to employer plan sponsors, however, a law that went into effect in Texas in January now forces insurers to pass the information along.

Federal law allows insurers to pass along disidentified health information to employer plan sponsors, however, a law that went into effect in Texas in January now forces insurers to pass the information along.

Information will include beneficiaries with health bills exceeding $15,000, diagnoses, dates of service, cost of service, prognoses, treatment and future costs. Employers hope the data will help them better plan for healthcare expenses, but opponents of the law say it’s a clear violation of patient privacy, regardless of the fact that specific names are not used.

Many believe records can be easily matched with employees and would encourage discrimination or job loss for high-cost beneficiaries.
Insurers that fail to comply face fines of up to $25,000.