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WEDI Argues Against HPID Use in Electronic Transactions

September 23, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is advocating that unique Health Plan Identifiers (HPIDs) should not be used within electronic transactions adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The Reston, Va.-based nonprofit group conducted a survey of health plans, self‐insured health plans, providers, third‐party administrators, clearinghouses and software vendors to validate its advocacy. The organization found that only 15 percent of all stakeholder respondents find any value in the use of the HPID within transactions.

WEDI sent a letter to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), asking to modify HIPAA so HPIDs are not used in transactions. The level of granularity is one specific reason why. Fifty-one percent of respondents say that implementations will be more granular with HPIDs, while 39 percent are not able to even determine what the impact will be.

Cost is another reason. Only 30 percent of respondents, other than providers, indicated the cost to implement HPID would be less than $500,000, while 33 percent are not even able to determine a cost estimate at this time. Also, respondents were concerned about privacy. Only 11 percent of respondents reported privacy and security risks would be less than current risks under HIPAA.

“Since 2010, WEDI has been at the forefront of discussions with healthcare industry stakeholders on HPID and how it will impact their businesses and the overall healthcare environment,” WEDI President and CEO Devin Jopp, Ed.D., said in a statement “The findings of this latest survey really indicate that the industry has still not seen the value of placing HPID in the HIPAA transactions.”

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