June 11, 2019
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we urge you to support the amendment being offered by Representative Bill Foster (IL) and Representative Mike Kelly (PA) to HR 2740, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2020 which strikes Section 510 of the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill which currently prohibits the US Department of Health and Human Services from spending any federal dollars to promulgate or adopt a national patient identifier.
For nearly two decades, innovation and industry progress has been stifled due to a narrow interpretation of this language included in Labor-HHS bills since FY1999. More than that, without the ability of clinicians to correctly connect a patient with their medical record, lives have been lost and medical errors have needlessly occurred. These are situations that could have been entirely avoidable had patients been able to have been accurately identified and matched with their records. This problem is so dire that one of the nation’s leading patient safety organizations, the ECRI Institute, named patient identification among the top ten threats to patient safety.
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