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National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
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J. Nicholas Hoover
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J. Nicholas Hoover,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2013 | 6:59:06 PM
re: National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
I for one simply don't see any need for a uniform national patient identifier system run directly by HHS itself, despite the accelerating adoption of electronic health records and continued involvement of government in healthcare. Individuals should own their own health identification. The government should be, if anything, a consumer of these identifiers, and perhaps a regulating entity, not a holder and manager. There's no reason that many of the principles underlying the public-private National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace should not carry over into the healthcare space.
Dan Munro
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Dan Munro,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 4:19:54 PM
re: National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
The potential for abuse is there - but the legal guardrails are in place - and do work.

A large company I highlighted last year (5,000 employees) has engaged their entire employee base (and families) with healthcare services - very directly. It's definitely more of a partnership - but that's also the model that we need for healthcare more generally around true "patient engagement."

Companies that abuse that privilege will find it (ultimately) more and more challenging to find the best talent with policies of exclusion - rather than policies of inclusion.

In the meantime - we should be looking for ways to report abuses on the part of companies that ask inappropriate questions during an interview process. I know my eyebrows are raised when I hear that a company is asking for medical records as a part of an interview process.

HIPAA is flawed - and we should logically revisit it relative to the new information (and internet) age - but much of what it was designed to protect is based on an NPI - which was originally a part of the legislation. Trouble is - they took out the NPI - and left just the onerous rules and regulations. As it relates to HIPAA - it's the worst of all possible worlds.
Dan Munro
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Dan Munro,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 4:09:05 PM
re: National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
The wierd part is that an NPI isn't really a new request - it was part of HIPAA to begin with - and was removed. In that sense - all we're asking for is for legislation to put it back in (or in the case of the petition - to allow ONC to at least research it).

I'm not naive about the challenges of an NPI - it will take years - if it's ever adopted. It isn't a panacea or an easy solution - far from it. The value, however, is enormous both in lives and $'s saved.

Thanks to Brian for picking up the banner - and to Neil for writing about it. I've written about it too here: http://hc4.us/128bytes
brianahier
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brianahier,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 2:05:41 PM
re: National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
Whether a universal patient ID will truly work is unknown since HHS is not allowed to even research the subject...
jaysimmons
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jaysimmons,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2013 | 11:56:41 AM
re: National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
With greater focus shifting towards creating a nationwide HIE, the debate regarding a national patient ID system will garner more attention. As stated in the article, the creation of a nationwide HIE may be hampered by the fact that there isnG«÷t a standard in place to identify patients. I agree that even though a patient ID may not be the safest or best option, at least a national patient ID matching system should be in place.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2013 | 5:22:08 PM
re: National Patient ID System: Debate Stoked
Before the ban can be lifted there need to be better privacy protection laws over this information. I applied for a job at a prospective employer that requested my medical records before making me an offer. There are no laws prohibiting this request. Once this information is in a national database there will be all kinds of abuses.


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