skip to main content

S. 2538 (116th): National Patient Identifier Repeal Act of 2019

Call or Write Congress

About the bill

Should you have a “patient ID” number that stays with you for life, like with your Social Security number?


In 1996, in response to the earliest nascent forms of electronic or digital health records, a portion of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) mandated “unique patient health identifiers.” Similar to Social Security numbers, these were supposed to be numbers that tracked a specific patient across electronic health record systems in their dealings with doctors, physicians, and hospitals over the course of their life.

But starting in 1998, amid fears of government overreach or that the system would be misused, the annual Health and Human Services Department appropriations bill banned any federal funds from being used to develop the health identifier system. This ban was renewed ...

Sponsor and status

Rand Paul

Sponsor. Junior Senator for Kentucky. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Length: 1 page
Sep 24, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on September 24, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.



Sep 24, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S. 2538 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 2538. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not enacted by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 2538 — 116th Congress: National Patient Identifier Repeal Act of 2019.” 2019. January 24, 2021 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.