Democrats aim to lift ban on federal funds for national patient ID system

Congressional Democrats plan to push for a national patient identifier system in the upcoming legislative session, Politico reported Sept. 14.

As they did unsuccessfully last year in the face of Republican opposition, Democratic appropriators intend to try to lift the ban on federal funds to create the unique IDs, according to the news outlet. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has been a fierce opponent of the measure, arguing that it impedes patient privacy.

Proponents of a countrywide EHR exchange say creating national IDs for each patient — as countries with national healthcare systems such as the United Kingdom have done — would be a major way to get to that level of interoperability.

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