On September 4, 2015 the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI), along with seventeen health services, policy, and law professors, submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. In this case, the Court is deciding whether self-funded insurance plans can disregard State law and refuse to submit their health care claims data to an All Payer Claims Database (APCD). More specifically, the Court will decide whether ERISA, a federal law governing employee benefit plans, preempts State regulations requiring all health insurers, including self-funded employer based health care plans, to submit their health care claims data to the local APCDs. If the Court decides that these requirements are preempted, self-funded insurance plans—which includes 61% of enrollees in private insurance—will no longer be required to submit their claims data to their APCDs, potentially undermining the breadth of these data sets.
CHLPI’s brief stressed the importance that APCDs have as a data source for important health services and policy research, including recommendations for improving clinical care and controlling health care costs. CHLPI discussed the breadth of research facilitated by data from APCDs as well as the negative ramifications loosing access to this data would have on research. CHLPI also explained why APCDs are unique and why this research cannot be done using alternative data sources. CHLPI spearheaded an academic multi-disciplinary coalition to bring this aspect of the case to the Supreme Court’s attention.