The AHA today urged leaders of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to allow funding for the adoption of a unique patient identifier as part of the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. “For the past 20 years, language has been included in appropriations bills prohibiting HHS from spending any federal funding to adopt a UPI,” AHA wrote. “Removing the prohibition on the use of federal funds to promulgate or adopt a national UPI would provide HHS the ability to explore solutions that link patients with their correct medical records.” In June, the House of Representatives voted to remove the ban on funding for a UPI when it passed H.R. 2740. “America’s hospitals and health systems are committed to ensuring the highest quality care in a timely manner,” AHA said. “Funding for a UPI would help reduce administrative costs and ensure efficient, timely care for patients.”

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