March 9, 2016

Larry Good
Executive Secretary
ERISA Advisory Council
U.S. Department of Labor, Suite N-5623
200 Constitution Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Mr. Good & Members of the ERISA Advisory Council,

Thank you for inviting comments on the ERISA Advisory Council 2016-16 work plan.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance, which for 25 years has used measurement, transparency and accountability to improve health care quality, urges you to address health care transparency in your plan.

This is critically important since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual that Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) precludes states from requiring self-insured health plans to report to all-payer claims databases (APCDs). The Supreme Court ruling explicitly states that “the Secretary of Labor, not the States, is authorized to administer” ERISA plan reporting requirements and can require ERISA plans to report claims data.

Our nation’s health care system urgently needs APCDs to make health care spending more transparent, identify outliers driving unsustainable cost growth, and inform both policymakers and consumers who increasingly bear a greater share of health care costs. For full understanding of health care spending, APCDs must have data on the 93 million workers in self-insured plans, which total more than half of all privately insured Americans.

We therefore strongly urge the ERISA Advisory Council to develop requirements for ERISA plans to report to state APCDs in your 2016-17 agenda.

Thank you again for inviting comments. If you have any questions please contact Paul Cotton, Director of Federal Affairs, at cotton@ncqa.org or (202) 955-5162.

Sincerely,


Margaret E. O’Kane
President & CEO