For years, the country’s most powerful insurance lobbying group has stayed largely on the sidelines in the fierce debate over how to protect consumers from unscrupulous selling or sharing of their data. Now, as consumer companies spin out more health apps and digital health services, they’re finally wading in.
America’s Health Insurance Plans — whose members include heavyweights like Anthem and Humana — is calling on Congress to expand its privacy oversight, including by extending the patient data privacy law HIPAA or by enacting rigorous privacy restrictions beyond just insurers, providers, and business partners to any third-party groups that collect, use or store consumers’ health data.
The organization says its goal is to ensure that apps and health services like medication and fitness trackers are held to the same rigorous privacy standards as insurers — especially when a growing number of patients are opting to share their claims information with those apps.
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