The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to a proposed appropriations bill that would lift a 20-year ban on funding for a unique national patient identifier, GovInfoSecurity reports. The House and Senate still need to approve the appropriations bill, while the Senate has to approve a similar provision, and the final bill must contain the amendment before it can be signed off by President Donald Trump. The creation of a national patient identifier system was initially a requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act when it was passed in 1996. Congress banned the allocation of funds to develop the system in 1999, citing privacy concerns. Proponents of the amendment believe a national identifier would prevent medical errors, while privacy advocates are opposed to lifting the ban, citing concerns individuals will no longer have control over their personal health data.
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