Majority of Industry Stakeholders See No Value in Unique Health Plan Identifiers

Only a small proportion of industry stakeholders find any value in using the unique Health Plan Identifier within transactions, according to survey results from WEDI.

Only a small proportion of industry stakeholders find any value in using the unique Health Plan Identifier (HPID) within transactions, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI).

The survey was complete by 262 respondents representing multiple stakeholders, including health plans, third-party administrators, clearinghouses, and providers. Of these respondents, just 15% find value in using the HPID with transactions. Software vendors were the most likely to see value (23%), while none of the respondents representing self-insured health plans envision any value.

Furthermore, roughly three-quarters of respondents have concerns about implementing HDIP concurrent with other mandates.

“The findings of this latest survey really indicate that the industry has still not seen the value of placing HPID in the HIPAA transactions,” WEDI President and Chief Executive Officer Devin Jopp, EdD, said in a statement. “This supports our recommendations to CMS from October 2013 that CMS require HPID enumeration but modify the rule to make HPIDs not used in transactions.”

According to the 194 respondents who were not providers, only 30% estimate their HPID projects will cost less than half a million dollars. A third were unable to determine the costs, 19% anticipate implementation costs will be between $500,000 and $1 million, 12% estimate between $1 million and $5 million, and 6% believe it could more than $5 million.

More than half of all respondents believe privacy and security risks when using the HPID would be the same or even greater than current risks under HIPAA. In addition, the use of HPID within transactions will be the same complexity or more complex than implementation of the National Provider Identifier, for 55% of respondents.

“A recurring theme that we have heard is the continued confusion within the industry as to what HPID is intended to solve in the current healthcare environment,” Jim Daley, WEDI chairman, wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.