Ask Congress to no longer prohibit HHS from establishing standards for a unique patient identifier
In 1996 Congress passed HIPAA which included provisions that required HHS to “adopt national standards for electronic healthcare transactions” and “a standard unique health identifier for each individual, employer, health plan, and health care provider for use in the healthcare system.”
In 1998 Congress passed Public Law 105-277 that prohibited HHS spending any funds to “promulgate or adopt any final standard..providing for, or providing for the assignment of, a unique health identifier for an individual..until legislation is enacted specifically approving the standard.”
HIMSS identified cost savings and safety benefits associated with a unique patient identifier. Congress should permit HHS to develop standards, especially if this could increase efficiencies and prevent medical errors.
This was one of the three major items your LHIMA representatives directly petitioned congressional leaders to address this month in Washington, D.C. If you have an interest in signing this petition, please click here.