Update on Patient Matching Issue in Congress

Please see the following update on patient matching:

In June of this year the House adopted an amendment that would strike language in the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill that prohibits the US Department of Health and Human Services from using federal funds to promulgate or adopt a unique patient identifier. Striking this language will provide the US Department of Health and Human Services the ability to evaluate a full range of patient matching solutions and enable it to work with the private sector to identify a solution that is cost-effective, scalable, secure and one that protects patient privacy. 

Now that a budget deal has materialized, when the Senate returns in September, we expect them to quickly take up the Senate FY20 Labor-HHS appropriations bill. Along these lines, we are trying to build grassroots support for the Senate to reject inclusion of this outdated language as the House did in June. 

Along these lines, we’ve created a new engagement at AHIMA’s Advocacy Action Center and we have two favors to ask— 

  • Head to the Advocacy Action Center to contact your US Senator about this critical issue. 
  • Encourage others within your CSA to take action as well. 

Our goal between now and September is to garner as much grassroots support as possible to continue to move this issue forward. 

We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! 

Lesley Kadlec, MA, RHIA, CHDA 
Director, Policy and State Advocacy Engagement | Policy & Government Relations 
AHIMA | American Health Information Management Association 
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 502 | Washington, DC 20036 
Phone: (312) 233-1144 

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