HIX Data Hub Readiness Questioned by Lawmakers

Margaret Dick Tocknell, September 12, 2013

After concerns about delays, the federal data services hub, an integral part of health insurance exchanges, is ready to be deployed, federal officials say. But members of the House Subcommittee on Cyber Security are skeptical.

The assertion by federal officials that the data services hub necessary to support health insurance exchanges has successfully completed security testing and is operationally ready was challenged at a House subcommittee meeting Wednesday.

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), who chairs the Subcommittee on Cyber Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies for the House Homeland Security Committee, disparaged the administration's claims.

"Just last month we were told that [it] wouldn't be ready until the end of Sept. 30. Now lo and behold [security testing] was completed on Sept. 6 and it's ready to go?" He added incredulously, "this is an agency [Department of Health & Human Services] that for three months failed to meet a single deadline."

See Also: Vendors Vow HIX Will Be Ready on Time

The data services hub will provide one connection to the federal data sources needed to verify consumer application information on the health insurance exchanges.

Meehan's opposition to the data hub is well documented. Citing the potential for the abuse and theft of personal information, in July he introduced HR 2837, which calls for a one year delay in the hub's launch.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.


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