HIT Policy Update: Rallying for The Patient ID Ban Lift

In their next steps for patient matching, AHIMA and CHIME hosted a briefing for members of Congress to encourage support of last month's House amendment to the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2020. The Foster-Kelly amendment to H.R. 2740 calls for overturning a 20-year prohibition of using federal funding for a unique patient identifier. The change aims to curb medical errors, patient safety risks and unnecessary costs to heath systems by accurately identifying patients and matching them to their electronic health records. Without the lift, HIT industry leaders assert that full interoperability of patient data cannot occur.

"Now more than ever we need a nationwide unique patient identifier to ensure that patients are correctly identified in our increasingly digital healthcare ecosystem,” said Russell Branzell of CHIME. “This is a top priority for our members. We applaud the House for taking a leadership role on this issue by removing the ban, and we strongly encourage the Senate to do the same."

How You Can Help
Though this Congressional briefing is a momentous step, the industry still needs your help. CHIME is encouraging health IT professionals to call, email, send letters to and social media contact their Senators. Rally your colleagues in the drive to convey to the Senate why a consistent patient identification strategy is so pertinent to safe, secure health information exchange. We need your voice. Click below to access CHIME’s Senate outreach toolkit, which provides tactics like a phone, letter and Twitter script.

Thank you for your support! Stay tuned for more HIT public policy updates.

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