House Votes to Remove Federal Ban on National Patient ID

On June 12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would end the current federal ban on the funding of a national patient identification strategy. That action was applauded by senior advocacy leaders at the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). CHIME’s vice president of congressional affairs, Leslie Kriegstein, wrote in a blog on the association’s website, “Great news! Yesterday evening the House passed an amendment that would remove a prohibition on funding for a national patient identification strategy. Our members have seen that 20-year prohibition as a barrier to interoperability and a risk to patient safety. Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this milestone.”

Kriegstein added that “We commend U.S. Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL-11) and Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), the sponsors of the amendment, for their leadership on this critical patient safety issue. Reps. Foster and Kelly took to the House floor, with the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services (Labor-H), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), to highlight the patient care implications of addressing patient identification in a meaningful way with the passage of this amendment. The House will now need to vote on the full Appropriations package, which is expected next week; it will then be sent over to the Senate for consideration.”

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