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S. 2538: National Patient Identifier Repeal Act of 2019

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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.

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Last Updated: Sep 24, 2019
Length: 1 page
Sep 24, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)

Introduced on Sep 24, 2019

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced into Congress on September 24, 2019. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.

3% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs (details)


Sep 24, 2019

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

If this bill has further action, the following steps may occur next:
Passed Committee

Passed Senate

Passed House

Signed by the President

S. 2538 is 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.

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. September 18, 2020 <>

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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.