Rhode Island Set To Begin Health Insurance Claims Database

Apr 14, 2014

You may have gotten a letter in the mail recently from your health insurance company asking whether you wanted to opt out of something called an “all payer claims database.”

Rhode Island is beginning an all-payer claims database to better known how much residents are spending on healthcare, and on what.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

That letter you may remember receiving in the mail from your health insurance company probably started like this: “Beginning in May, 2014, all health insurers and administrators in Rhode Island will be required to submit certain information about their plan enrollees to the Rhode Island All-Payer Claims Database…”  So what is the all-payer claims database? It’s a new project to collect data about every health care dollar we spend in Rhode Island, all in one place. Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts’ chief of staff Jennifer Wood has helped lead the development.

“In order to get a full picture of how much we’re spending on different kinds of diseases and medical procedures, you need to put it all in one place. And that’s what we haven’t been able to do until now," said Wood.

While every insurer, public or private, has to participate, you have a choice. But Wood says none of the data insurers send to the database will contain any information that could identify you personally. Wood says 12 other states have all-payer claims databases that have helped researchers find ways to trim health care costs.

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