All Actions as to HPIDs Should Stop. With a November 5, 2014 deadline looming for large health plans to obtain a Health Plan Identifier (HPID), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of e-Health Standards and Services announced that it will delay enforcement in the use of HPID. This enforcement delay applies to all covered entities including providers, health plans and clearing houses. This means that:
- Those employers that already struggled with the CMS website to obtain an HPID should keep all records and back-up documentation to demonstrate compliance, and
- Those employers who have not yet obtained an HPID need not apply at this time until HHS lifts the enforcement suspension.
Last Minute Delay. CMS made this announcement on October 31, just 5 days before the deadline for obtaining an HPID. CMS stated that the basis for the delay was the September 23, 2014 recommendation made by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), the statutory advisory body to HHS. However, the September 23 recommendation was a reiteration of the June 10, 2014, recommendation made by NCVHS.
In both reports, NCVHS provided numerous factors for the delay including:
- Lack of clear business need and purpose;
- Cost to health plans and others; and
- The universal use of the payer ID throughout the health care industry, such that the HPID would be redundant and confusing.
Contact Information. For more information from Mazursky Constantine, please contact Amy Heppner (404.888.8825), or Don Mazursky (404.888.8840). For information from VCG Consultants, please contact Leslie Schneider (770.863.3617).