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House Removes Ban Impeding Progress on National Patient Identifier

Patient ID Now, a coalition of leading health care organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, AHIMA, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, HIMSS, Intermountain Healthcare, and Premier Inc, is pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives has removed, for the third consecutive year, the longstanding ban in its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill that has stifled innovation around patient identification for two decades. 

This bipartisan movement in the House to remove barriers to accurate patient identification and increased patient privacy has been strengthened in the past year by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient misidentification caused challenges for health systems during the pandemic, including thousands of duplicate records created during the vaccination registration process, and disruptions in vaccine availability at provider sites because of inaccurate patient documentation. 

Patient ID Now is calling on the US Senate to finally follow suit to protect patient safety and patient privacy—and to bolster the public health system—by removing Section 510 from its Labor-HHS bill. In a letter sent this year to the Senate Appropriations Committee, more than 100 health care organizations called for the removal of this ban. With a third year of bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and overwhelming support from the health care community, this must be the year the Senate takes action to remove this outdated and harmful ban. 

The coalition would like to thank Representative Bill Foster (D-IL) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) for their steadfast leadership, and House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) for their continued support to advance patient identification.

Source: Patient ID Now