Senators Launch Inquiry Into Bias in Health Care Algorithms

1 min read

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) sent letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Federal Trade Commission and five health care companies requesting information on measures they implement to address bias in algorithms.

The letters were issued after a study in the journal Science found racial bias in an algorithm, Wyden’s office said in a news release published Tuesday.

The lawmakers posed questions to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons and CMS Administrator Seema Verma about the actions they have taken to address the impact of algorithmic biases on health disparities, engagement with other federal agencies and external stakeholders regarding algorithmic biases and enforcement tools used to address such bias.

Booker and Wyden also sent letters to executives of Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group asking details about the algorithms their firms use to enhance patient care as well as implemented measures to prevent bias.

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