Pension & Benefits News HHS finalizes removal of health plan identifier requirements
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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

HHS finalizes removal of health plan identifier requirements

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized a rule to rollback the policy of requiring the use of a health plan identifier (HPID) in HIPAA transactions. The final rule rescinds the HPID and the implementation specifications and requirements for its use and the other entity identifier (OEID). The final rule also removes the definitions for the “controlling health plan” (CHP) and “subhealth plan” (SHP) at 45 CFR 162.103. The final rule is effective December 27, 2019.

Background. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and HIPAA require the HHS to adopt a standard unique health plan identifier to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the health care system by establishing standards and requirements for the electronic transmission of certain health information. In September 2012, the HHS published a final rule that adopted the HPID as the standard unique identifier for health plans, defined the terms CHP and SHP, required all covered entities to use an HPID whenever a covered entity identifies a health plan in a covered transaction, established requirements for CHPs and SHPs, and adopted a data element to serve as an OEID.

However, after receiving overwhelming feedback from stakeholders and the industry, saying that implementing the rule would be costly, complicated, and burdensome, the HHS proposed a rule to rescind these requirements.

Rule finalized. After reviewing comments on the proposed rule, the HHS is finalizing the proposed rule without modification. In addition, the HHS will conduct the deactivation activities on behalf of the enumerated entities and communicate to affected organizations and stakeholders about the deactivation process.

SOURCE: 84 FR 57621, October 28, 2019.

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