Patient Identifiers Coming Soon


Here is something interesting:

  • The leaders of nearly two dozen healthcare industry organizations want Congress to continue to push for lifting an 18-year-old ban that prevents HHS from developing a national patient identifier.
  • The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, payers such as America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, providers Intermountain Healthcare and the Nemours Children’s.
  • The letter asks the committee to “develop a coordinated national strategy that will promote patient safety by accurately identifying patients to their health information.”

Now why do you think they want these “patient identifiers”?  Hmmm.  Oh, yeah, patient safety (I’m trying not to laugh as I type this).

I am sure it has nothing to do with squeezing the consumer some more or selling that data, right?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Patient Identifiers Coming Soon

  1. Pat
    October 9, 2016 at 11:28 am

    We are fast approaching the point where going into medicine means one is willing to harm a patient, in service to the state.

  2. October 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

    The correlation between recorded demographics for physicians – e.g. name, address, date of birth, medical licensure numbers – recorded in [#1) Doctors’ UPIN, #2) Doctors’ NPI, and #3) Reality] was analyzed. The frequency of correlation between UPIN demographics, NPI demographics and reality was 3%. Not 3% wrong – 3% right.
    This was in the presence of the various licensing boards’ mandate for accuracy of doctors’ correct demographic information, and the countless thousands of times physicians have to SUPPLY this information to credentialing, insuring and other boards. Our information should be all over the grey market, and it is.
    Imagine the likelihood of the Government keeping a timely record of “Patient NPI’s” if they are constructed? Remember, the demographics for the SS number is not kept up to date at Social Security. What are your chances of getting paid for a patient number that does not correlate, for instance, for billing address on your documents with those on file for the “Patient NPI?” People move, change names and genders and spouses, and they die.
    It’s a cheery good idea if the Government never wants to pay another claim for Medicare or Medicaid. You don’t think that’s what it’s about, do you?

    • Sir Lance-a-lot
      October 9, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Just think about how many callbacks for lab results at your office go to non-working numbers, with the results having to be mailed out… And these are for phone numbers that were given to the receptionist only days before.

  3. Sir Lance-a-lot
    October 9, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Of course it’s for patient safety. After all, just think of how many patients you’ve encountered who share the same name and date of birth, and the same social security number.

    And what could possibly go wrong when they stop using the information that people tend to remember, even when they’re ill or a bit disoriented – name and birthday – and start using some other “unique” number that the patient will need to memorize in order to receive care?

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