Agency says Federal Services Data Hub exchange system has passed all required security tests
By Jaikumar Vijayan
September 11, 2013
Computerworld – The central system built to support Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchanges has successfully completed security testing and is set to begin operating on Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday.
The CMS said that an independent security controls assessment conducted last month found that the Federal Services Data Hub complies with all federal security requirements.
The privacy and security of consumer data is a “top priority” for the CMS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which will implement the ACA, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. “The Hub and its associated systems have been built with state-of-the art business processes based on federal and industry standards,” the CMS said in a statement.
The data hub, often referred to as the Obamacare Hub, has been a focal point of concern by several privacy and advocacy groups.
Healthcare and IT
Described by CMS as a routing tool, the hub is designed to let state and federal facilitated healthcare marketplaces quickly verify the eligibility of individuals seeking insurance coverage. The system connects healthcare insurance exchanges with numerous federal government databases at agencies like the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Services, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Hub itself will not store any data. It’s designed to move information between the federal database systems and the marketplaces. “The Hub increases efficiency and security by eliminating the need for each Marketplace, Medicaid agency….to set up separate data connections to each database,” the CMS said.
Some critics, though, contend that the Hub is a recipe for disaster.