American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

House Lifts Ban on Unique Patient Identifier

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending package, which included American College of Surgeons (ACS)-supported amendment language that would remove a 20-year mandate that prevented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from spending federal dollars to adopt a Unique Patient Identifier. The amendment, introduced by Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), was initially approved by the House Appropriations Committee as part of its FY 2020 Appropriations package for the Departments of Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies.

A Unique Patient Identifier would help to ensure that surgeons have a more accurate and consistent way of linking patients to their health information across the continuum of care. The ACS looks forward to working with the U.S. Senate on similar efforts.

For additional information, contact Amelia Suermann, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at asuermann@facs.org.