The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society has called on Congress to authorize a study of patient data matching issues.

In absence of a national patient identifier, there is a need to identify best approaches for a nationwide patient data matching strategy, HIMSS notes in a recommendation to Congress, available here. Legislative appropriations language implemented in 1999 and reauthorized each year since has blocked enactment of a patient identifier, which was mandated under the HIPAA law. The language, which blocks funding for an identifier, has been a barrier to optimal health information exchange, the association notes.

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