The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, an advisory body to the Department of Health and Human Services, has recommended adoption of specific operating rules to make financial/administrative electronic transactions more uniform.

The recommendations are important because the Accountable Care Act (health reform) mandates that health plans adopt operating rules. Payers have long adopted multiple voluntary HIPAA transactions standards but also implemented proprietary companion guides and payer sheets that require adherence to additional transaction implementation rules. Consequently, the HIPAA standards failed to make transactions considerably more uniform. Operating rules that payers can agree on are an attempt to "standardize the standards."

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