HHS Rescinds Health Plan Identifier (HPID) under HIPAA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a final rule to rescind the HPID and requirements for its use.

What is a HPID?

A HPID is a standard, yet unique health plan identifier that is primarily used in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard transactions.

The HPID is intended to address any industry confusion of having multiple ways to identify a health plan in a transaction.

Background

After the HHS released a final rule adopting the HPID standard back in 2012, HHS received feedback from the healthcare industry that the HPID’s implementation would be disruptive, costly and counterproductive to administrative simplification.

Based on this feedback, HHS delayed enforcement of the HPID requirement in 2014. This delay meant that health plans were not required to obtain an HPID and covered entities were not required to use the HPID in standard transactions.

Now, 7 years later from the release of the HPID requirement rule, HHS has rescinded the requirement based on industry input.

This industry input demonstrates that:

  • The healthcare industry has developed best practices for using Payer IDs to conduct HIPAA transactions.
  • It would be a costly, complicated and burdensome disruption for the industry to have to implement the HPID.

What’s next?

In the future, HHS may explore alternative options and adopt a more effective HPID standard.

For now, the healthcare industry may continue to use its own standard payer identifier; while the HHS deactivates any HPIDs in its system and notifies all active users.

To learn more about this final rule being rescinded, click here.


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