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Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers hold vast amounts of data. Photo: Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images

Blue Health Intelligence, the company that houses medical and pharmacy claims data for 190 million people who have Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, has agreed to a multiyear deal to share its data with the Health Care Cost Institute.

Why it matters: HCCI, a nonprofit group used by many health policy researchers, was on the verge of shutting down earlier this year after UnitedHealthcare said it would stop sharing claims data.

Details: Financial terms were not disclosed, but HCCI will pay a fee to the Blues-owned company for the insurers' consolidated data feed, which strips out any identifying information of people.

  • Swati Abbott, CEO of Blue Health Intelligence, said "a majority" of the 36 Blue Cross Blue Shield companies will submit claims data, although five plans "restrict some of their contributions." She would not name those five companies.

Aetna and Kaiser Permanente will continue to provide their data to HCCI. Humana, which had signaled it would join UnitedHealthcare and end its relationship with HCCI, may now stay aboard as well.

The big picture: Health care prices and spending among people with employer-based coverage are in a black box.

  • Research groups like HCCI have attempted to bring some of that information to light, and HCCI now has a new major source of claims data to do so.

Go deeper

15 mins ago - Health

Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine

Photo illustration by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna announced that it plans to file with the FDA Monday for an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, which the company said has an efficacy rate of 94.1%.

Why it matters: Moderna will become the second company to file for a vaccine EUA after Pfizer did the same earlier this month, potentially paving the way for the U.S. to have two COVID-19 vaccines in distribution by the end of the year. The company said its vaccine has a 100% efficacy rate against severe COVID cases.

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.