Monday, May 22, 2017

A win in Congress for patient data matching

Copyright: robeo / 123RF 
PARCA eNews – May 9, 2017 – Congress unexpectedly gave a big boost to proponents of developing a national patient identifier system that would accurately link patients to their health information.

Less than a month after a coalition of providers, payers, and Health IT companies joined forces to ask Congress in a jointly signed letter to clarify its 1999 ban on universal patient identification, the group was pleasantly surprised by the FY 2017 Omnibus bill. The bill included language from the letter allowing HHS through the ONC and CMS to provide technical assistance to private-sector led initiatives to develop a coordinated national strategy that will promote accurate identification of patients and their health information.

The rapid response to their letter was so unexpected that the group had already made plans to repeat the request for the FY18 Labor-HHS spending bill, however, Congress seems to have agreed to the request by industry, putting the changes in place less than a month after the letter was submitted.

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