The leaders of nearly two dozen healthcare industry organizations want Congress to continue to push for lifting an 18-year-old ban that prevents HHS from developing a national patient identifier.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, payers such as America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, providers Intermountain Healthcare and the Nemours Children’s Health System, prescription drug network Surescripts and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives were among the 22 groups to sign a letter (PDF) sent to the chairs and ranking members of the House Appropriations Committee and its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
Various subsequent private-sector efforts to resurrect industry interest in the UPI, also known as a national patient identifier and other names over the years, have come to dead ends.
In 2006, for example, the Markle Foundation, a not-for-profit group concerned with technology, healthcare, and national security, gathered a committee of health IT experts and spent a year studying the issue. Markle determined the benefit from having a patient identifier system wasn’t worth the effort of launching one.