Six leading healthcare organizations have announced the formation of a national coalition called Patient ID Now, which is committed to addressing the issue of patient identification by advocating for legislation and regulations.

The founding members of Patient ID Now are the American College of Surgeons, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS), Intermountain Healthcare, and Premier Healthcare Alliance.

The coalition recently launched a website, PatientIDNow.org, which highlights the group’s principles. Noting that failure to accurately identify patients to their data raises patient safety and quality of care concerns, Patient ID Now believes it’s critical for Congress to repeal a section of law that prevents the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from working with the private sector to develop a nationwide patient identification strategy.

“It’s inspiring to see six healthcare organizations work together to create positive change for patients and healthcare systems,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “I am optimistic Patient ID Now will achieve its goals of helping healthcare systems better match patients with their data.”

Properly matching patients and their data not only improves care but saves resources. The Ponemon Institute indicates that on average, 35 percent of all denied claims result directly from inaccurate patient identification or inaccurate and incomplete patient information, costing the average U.S. healthcare system $1.2 million per year.

Read more about the coalition here.