National Patient ID Debate Intensifies

September 12, 2019 Mayuri Kumar

Some healthcare IT industry groups and large provider organizations are pushing the Senate to follow the House's lead and approve a measure to lift the 20-year ban on the Department of Health and Human Services funding the development or adoption of a unique, national patient identifier.

In recent letters to Senate leaders, 56 organizations, including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the American Hospital Association, have urged legislators to allow HHS to fund work related to the development of a national patient ID in the quest to improve the accuracy, interoperability and security of health data exchange and enhance patient safety. For years, Congress has banned such funding, citing privacy concerns raised by use of a national ID.

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