HHS Rule Takes Aim at Bias in Health Care Algorithms

While a recently proposed rule from HHS would mostly reinstate nondiscrimination protections that the Trump administration unwound, it also addresses an emerging issue that is likely to stir up controversy in the health insurance industry: bias in clinical algorithms.

The regulation, posted Aug. 4 in the Federal Register, would for the first time at the federal level prohibit a covered entity “from discriminating against any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability through the use of clinical algorithms in decision-making,” explains a July 27 Health Affairs article summarizing the proposal. “Covered entities” include all health programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance, including health insurance issuers that get federal funding.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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