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Patient Matching Update



We have made some great strides on the Patient Matching front in government!  As you might recall, HIM professionals have been lobbying congress to modernize HIPAA by omitting the 1999 language in the fiscal year 2020 which would allow HHS to work to advance a nationwide patient matching strategy.  By modernizing the language and lifting the ban, we can hopefully work towards a national patient identifier (NPI).  With the existence of an NPI, standards can be developed such as aiding in the opioid epidemic by preventing patients to doctor shop and reduce medical errors by allowing healthcare systems to accurately match patients. 

Representatives Bill Foster (IL) and Mike Kelly (PA) introduced the amendment to HR 2740, in which AHIMA led a letter to all US Representatives, signed by 27 groups in support.  The ask - to strike Section 510 of the Labor-HHS Appropriations Act of 2020 which, in its current state, would prohibit the US Department of Health and Human Services from federal dollar spending to promulgate or adopt an NPI. 

Good news…. the House passed the amendment 246 to 178!!  While this is just the first step it’s a definite win in our goal to better treat our patients!

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