Georgia lawmaker files bill to ban AI use for health coverage decisions

A Georgia state lawmaker filed legislation Jan. 9 that would prohibit the use of artificial intelligence technology to determine insurance, health coverage, or public assistance award decisions.

"Any decision-making process concerning the award, denial, reduction or termination of any public assistance which resulted from the use or application of any artificial intelligence or automated decision tools” must be reviewed by a human afterward with the ability to override the initial decision, according to the proposal.

"No actions shall be taken concerning healthcare based solely on results derived from the use or application of artificial intelligence or utilizing automated decision tools," the proposal says

Previously, Georgia passed legislation restricting the use of AI technology for optometric care and coverage decisions.

States are ramping up scrutiny over how insurers across industries are deploying artificial intelligence for underwriting purposes, Bloomberg reported in November.

The state-level actions come as federal lawmakers increasingly question health insurers' use of AI and automated tools for internal processes such as claims review and prior authorization requests. In addition, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna are facing lawsuits from members or their families alleging the organizations use automated data tools to wrongfully deny members' medical claims. 

According to Bloomberg, Colorado is the first state to adopt regulations focused on transparency around insurance algorithms, specifically for life insurers. Pennsylvania and New Jersey have both introduced legislation aimed at requiring payers to disclose how they use AI to review claims or ban discriminatory practices that may come from non-human decision systems. New York, California, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., have issued warnings and notices to insurers about avoiding discriminatory practices.

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