Inventory of Health Care Information Standards. Unique Identifiers (including allowed uses)


Purpose & Scope

The purpose of the Unique Health Identifiers is to uniquely identify Individuals, Employers, Health Plans and Health Care Providers within the health care system.

A. Individuals

Current practice consists of Medical Record Numbers issued and maintained by individual provider organizations which is also known as Master Patient Index (MPI). HIS vendors have begun to develop software to facilitate cross reference to MPIs across an enterprise often known as Corporate MPI.

1.1. Unique Identifier Standards for Individuals:

1.1.1. UHID by ASTM

ASTM is the only Standards Development Organization that has developed and published standards in this area. Other options listed below are candidate identifiers frequently discussed by industry experts.

1.2. Other Unique Identifier Options for Individuals:

1.2.1. Social Security Number (SSN)

1.2.2. Biometrics IDs

1.2.3. Directory Service

1.2.4. Personal Immutable Properties

1.2.5. Patient Identification System based on existing Medical Record Number and Practitioner Prefix

1.2.6. Public Key - Private Key Cryptography Method

Employers, Health Plans and Health Care Providers

None of the Standards Developing Organizations have developed standards in the area of identifying employers, health plans and health care providers. However, HCFA and several other organizations have developed identifiers in this area with input from Federal and state agencies that administer health programs and other stake holders of the industry including standards developing organizations (SDOs).

B. Employers:

2.1 Unique Identifier Standards for Employers:

None Exists

2.2 Unique Identifier Options for Employers:

2.1.1. PAYERID

C. Health Plans:

3.1 Unique Identifier Standards for Health Plans:

None Exists

3.2 Unique Identifier Options for Health Plans:

3.2.1. PAYERID

D. Health Care Providers:

4.1. Unique Identifier Standards for Health Care Providers:

None Exists

4.2. Unique Identifier Options for Health Care Providers:

4.2.1. National Provider Identifier

4.2.2. Unique Physician Identifiers (UPIN)

4.2.3. NABP Pharmacy Number (NABP#)

4.2.4. Health Industry Number (HIN)