Covered Calif. Releases Draft List of Essential Community Providers
The Affordable Care Act requires exchanges to provide a list of ECPs to address disparities in health care stemming from geography, income and other metrics (Payers & Providers, 7/10).
Covered California previously provided five separate lists of contact information for ECPs. The newly released draft list includes consolidated information from all five of the former lists
Draft List Details
The draft list was compiled over several months and includes:
- Children's hospitals;
- Community clinics;
- County hospitals;
- Disproportionate share hospitals;
- Federally qualified health centers;
- Free clinics;
- Hospitals participating in the 340B drug discount program; and
- Tribal health programs (Covered California release, 6/26).
Specifically, the draft list contains 227 hospitals and more than 2,000 community clinics and county-operated health care centers (Payers & Providers, 7/10).
In a release, Covered California added that Medi-Cal HI-TECH doctors are considered qualified as ECPs but were not included in the list "due to the quantity and lack of reliable address information" for such providers. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Covered California release, 6/26).
Covered California spokesperson Anne Gonzales said that the purpose of the draft list is to guarantee that health plans participating in the exchange have a list of ECPs to contract with, but the list is available to all enrollees.
According to Payers & Providers, Covered California is expected to release a final list of ECPs "shortly," and the current draft list can be changed and updated as necessary.
The exchange is accepting public comments on the draft list until Thursday (Payers & Providers, 7/10).
Exchange Enrollees' Data Compromised
In related news, cybersecurity experts have voiced concerns over Covered California putting the personal data of at least 378 exchange enrollees in jeopardy, National Review Online reports.
In most of the cases, exchange navigators sent customers' private information to exchange representatives using unencrypted or unprotected emails, according to NRO. For example, navigators sent Social Security numbers insecurely at least seven times, NRO reports.
When the exchange finds that data were sent in an improper way, officials contact the navigators and require them to review and sign the exchange's privacy and security guidelines. According to NRO, Covered California has not yet fired any navigators for violating the policies.
Covered California spokesperson Dana Howard said there "is no indication [that customers' personal information] was compromised," adding that the violations involve "a very minimal risk" (Kay Melchior, National Review Online, 7/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.