Tag: Patient ID Now

US House of Representatives Removes Ban In Federal Budget That Has Stifled Progress On A National Patient Identification Strategy

Patient ID Now, a coalition of leading healthcare organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Intermountain Healthcare and Premier Inc., is pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives 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 healthcare 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and overwhelming support from the healthcare community, this must be the year the Senate takes action to remove this outdated and harmful ban.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.

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Patient ID Now Coalition Applauds Action On Patient Misidentification

Patient ID Now, a coalition of leading healthcare organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Intermountain Healthcare and Premier Healthcare Alliance, is pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives has removed, for the third year in a row, the longstanding ban in its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill that stifles innovation around patient identification.

Patient ID Now has brought attention to the need for a national strategy around patient identification that offers both improved patient safety and improved efficiency to healthcare, well as enhanced interoperability. Although patient misidentification has been a problem for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic heightened the harmful effects of the health system’s inability to accurately match patients to their complete health records.

An archaic section of the federal budget has prevented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from working with the private sector to develop a nationwide patient identification strategy, but today the House of Representatives, with leadership from Representative Bill Foster (D-IL) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA), once again took an important step forward in repealing this ban.

The coalition is now calling on the U.S. Senate to finally join the bipartisan work of the House of Representatives and repeal the ban this year to work towards a health system that prioritizes the safety and privacy of patients.

“The pandemic made clear that now is the time to take action to ensure the health and safety of patients across the US and bolster the accuracy and interoperability of health data,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “Moving the appropriations bill forward without this harmful ban is the first step toward finding a strategy that can lead to better safety and care outcomes.”

Throughout the pandemic the healthcare industry has struggled to resolve this difficult operational issue. Ensuring the correct patient medical history is accurately matched to the patient is critical for future patient care, patients’ long-term access to their complete health record, accurately tracking vaccination status, and monitoring the long-term effects of COVID-19.

“ACS applauds Congress in taking necessary and overdue first steps in working towards the trusted, digital identity of patients so that surgeons can exchange information on their behalf,” said American College of Surgeons’ medical director of quality and health policy Frank Opelka, MD, FACS. “Our patients deserve trusted, shared information as they navigate a complex healthcare system.”

Here is what leaders of other coalition member organizations said about the recent vote:

 

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