HIMSS has joined several other leading healthcare organizations in the formation of Patient ID Now, a national coalition committed to addressing the issue of patient identification by advocating for legislation and regulations.
Noting that failure to accurately identify patients to their data raises patient safety and quality of care concerns, Patient ID Now believes it’s critical for Congress to repeal a section of law that prevents the US Department of Health and Human Services from working with the private sector to develop a nationwide patient identification strategy.
“HIMSS believes that the ‘partner’ patient and access to their longitudinal record is essential to achieving better care, and our members have long advocated for advancing a nationwide patient matching strategy,” said HIMSS President & CEO Hal Wolf. “However, the outdated and harmful appropriations ban on a unique patient identifier continues to hinder these efforts and must be removed. The inability to accurately match patients with their records not only has severe financial implications, but also impedes health information exchange and most importantly impacts patient safety, including loss of lives. We must act now and remove the ban.”
Properly matching patients and their data not only improves care but saves resources. The Ponemon Institute indicates that on average, 35 percent of all denied claims result directly from inaccurate patient identification or inaccurate and incomplete patient information, costing the average US healthcare system $1.2 million per year.
In addition to HIMSS, the founding members of Patient ID Now are the American College of Surgeons, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Intermountain Healthcare and Premier Healthcare Alliance.
Patient ID Now invites members of Congress and congressional staff, as well as media, to a virtual Hill briefing on July 7. Speakers will discuss the importance of matching patients and their data, and how Congress can help improve this area of the country’s healthcare system. Opportunities for engagement with speakers will be available. Registration will be available via the Patient ID Now website.
The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.