Update on Patient Matching Issue in Congress

SCHIMA Members,

Thank you for your past efforts on the request to amend the legislation that involves the patient matching issue in Congress.  A commitment of the 2019-2020 SCHIMA Board is to keep the membership informed as part of our HIM Awareness initiatives, and so we are again reaching out to you for your support to continue the efforts related to the patient matching issue.  
As one of your delegates to AHIMA and your Advocacy representative on the SCHIMA Board, I am strongly urging you to take part in this crucial campaign.  SCHIMA has adopted the motto “#Strongertogether” in hopes that as Health Information Management professionals, with our unique titles and credentials, that we can stand united together (the more voices, the greater the impact) and support, among other health information management initiatives, legislative changes such as this that will improve the delivery of healthcare. 
Your outreach to our members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives got us halfway to our goal. Here is where it stands today.  In June of this year the House adopted an amendment that would strike language in the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill that prohibits the US Department of Health and Human Services from using federal funds to promulgate or adopt a unique patient identifier. Striking this language will provide the US Department of Health and Human Services the ability to evaluate a full range of patient matching solutions and enable it to work with the private sector to identify a solution that is cost-effective, scalable, secure and one that protects patient privacy.

Now that a budget deal has materialized, when the Senate returns in September, we expect them to quickly take up the Senate FY20 Labor-HHS appropriations bill. Along these lines, we are trying to build grassroots support for the Senate to reject inclusion of this outdated language as the House did in June.

We are asking you to now contact our two South Carolina Senators to request the same action as the House. It is very easy, please follow this link and with a few clicks you can submit your request.

Head to the Advocacy Action center to contact your US Senator about this critical issue.
We are so close to moving forward with this amendment about patient matching at the federal level.  Won’t you please help us advance this change?      
Thank you,
Susan H. Richardson, RHIA
Susan Richardson, SCHIMA Delegate and Advocacy Representative
On behalf of the 2019-2020 SCHIMA Board