The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner recently was awarded a grant of $2.7 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the third cycle of rate review grants from HHS – the office previously received a total of $4.7 million. The new funds will allow the office to continue and expand the work it is doing on assessing rates and promoting transparency.
“We want to make [transparency] more than a buzz word. We want to make it a reality,” Hittner said.
The grant will enable the office to enhance its data analysis capacity. OHIC will post its findings on its website and on HealthSource RI to help the public make informed decisions. Hittner said that the rate reviews are especially important now that many people will have greater responsibility in selecting their own plans because of health care reform.
“We are striving to enhance consumer protections and good data will aid us in this quest. So, in essence, we will be better able to closely monitor and influence trends in health care utilization and payment methodologies,” Hittner said in an email.