The Department of Health and Human Services should not require the health plan identifier and other entity identifier in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act transactions, the AHA told the agency in comments submitted today. “The intent of the HIPAA legislation was to reduce administrative costs and make the process more efficient; the adoption of the HPID within the HIPAA transaction standards does neither,” wrote Ashley Thompson, vice president and deputy director of policy. “The AHA recommends that HHS remove the required use of the HPID/OEID in HIPAA transactions and allow the use of existing mechanisms to identify health plans.” She said AHA supports alternate uses of the HPID by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, such as to implement the certification program for health plan adherence to operating rules for HIPAA transactions. “Health plan certification is important because it would help identify which health plans are in compliance with the transaction standards, as well as identify health plans that are compliant with the operating rules in the future,” the letter adds. “The AHA urges CMS to begin certifications as soon as possible, but no later than December 2015.”