BCC FAQ on top ten questions


Top 12 Questions

1Q.  Before the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) arose, Medicare advised that improving “patient identity and patient matching is a critical issue.” “[I]dentity proofing” is the process used to verify an individual’s association with a name. So, is there a solid need to personalize medical treatment from the first point of care like never before?

1A. Yes. It is timely to take a fresh look at methods or mobile interactive apps that employ biometrics to recognize patients and automatically retrieve the patient’s personal health data remotely.  Telehealth providers and paramedics can personalize treatment of patients at the first point of care safely by transforming biometrics into an encoded key that unlocks personal identifiers and health records.  Steven Hoffer, Methods using mediation software for rapid health care support over a secured wireless network; methods of composition; and computer program products …., U.S. Patent No. 9,928,379 (March 27, 2018).  See full text.

2Q. As many as half of all attempted transfers of data from electronic health records between facilities can fail, making it harder to get patients the care they need and increasing costs. Biometrics could provide a safe transformation to help improve the accuracy of matches.  So, have patients overwhelmingly cited a preference for using biometrics to improve patient matching rates?

2A.  Yes. Ben Moscovitch & Robert Furburg, The Path Toward Biometrics-Enhanced Patient Matching — Study to examine standards, privacy, and cost challenges in health care uses of this technology, PEW Charitable Trust (February 18, 2020).  See full text.

FAQ continued

3Q. Are there any significant healthcare uses of biometric recognition or identity verification at the point of care to access personal information and healthcare records today?

3A.  Yes. A growing number of healthcare providers, payers, and systems have begun to recognize that patients widely prefer biometrics to conventional modes of biographical authentication or demographic patient identification. Hospitals and have expanded their uses of biometrics significantly, especially to address recent challenges. “Biometrics Entering New Era in Healthcare” (Healthcare IT News) See full text. Some systems set up trials for use cases arising due to the pandemic. As more payers and providers recognize the safety and efficiencies of biometrics at the point of care, and all along the continuum of care, they will increasingly embrace biometric protocols configured with privacy safeguards by design, as an huge upgrade to improve health outcomes more affordably with reliability, security, and safety.

4Q. Are medical systems improving outcomes by using biometrics to identify patients?

4A.  Yes. Brian Gormley, Hospitals Turn to Biometrics to Identify Patients — Record-keeping challenges mean patients are too often misidentified and given the wrong care. Technology may help with that. Wall Street Journal (February 6, 2020).  See full text.

5Q. Does personalization of health care earlier work better than the “one size fits all” approach?

5A. Yes. These biometric solutions reinforce the trend toward Precision Medicine, particularly to address the defects of last century’s “one-size-fits-all” care approach that still remains all too prevalent. Indeed, Eric Dishman, NIH, former Director of “All of Us” (2016-19) has explained that approach along with its costs to individuals and the health system. Click link to listen.

6Q.  Were regulators apprised of the advantages of biometric identification or verification of patients?

6A. Yes, during the proceedings for rulemakings HHS, ONC and CMS for Medicare were expressly advised by commentors, including the Innoculus Organization, that “[c]ertain healthcare delivery or practice settings remain distinct from one another. An ideal regulatory framework would advance the best available options for each distinct setting. A rule that merely requires a single common mode (i.e., patient identification, etc.) across all of these distinct settings will often fail to achieve that “best available” goal. Pending reforms can instead ensure that actors have real choices in each setting with substitutability between (a) actual or potential private modes and (b) at least one genuinely open mode in the public domain. Only these context-aware choices can sufficiently advance real innovation for improved patient care optimally with interoperability.” 

7Q. Are there further articles that address the challenge of personalizing rapid healthcare earlier and more effectively by using biometric recognition for better outcomes.

7A.  Yes.  For instance, see Innoculus Organization, Our Path to Telepathic Health (request a copy); See also, Innoculus Organization comments on rulemaking proceedings (request a copy).

8Q.  Are there new and innovative solutions harness biometrics and are now available for healthcare providers, or even for emergency care support? And do they promise to efficiently improve your patients’ outcomes by securely making personalized data available earlier for patient treatment and delivery protocols.

8A. Yes & Yes.  New interoperable solutions can now be licensed from companies like Biometric Care Corp.  See website link.  Many hospitals have embarked on the transformation to biometric recognition not only for health workers but for patients as well, and these upgrades promise to efficiently improve their patients’ outcomes by securely making personalized data available earlier.  See e.g., Biometrics in Healthcare, How it keeps Patients and Data Safe  (CDW Dec 23, 2019)(for full text of article).

9Q. Are there Ethical Uses of Personal Data for Remote Biometric Recognition or Identity Verification?

9A.  Yes. Neal Cohen, The Ethical Use of Personal Data to Build Artificial Intelligence Technologies: A Case Study on Remote Biometric Identity Verification, Carr Center Discussion Paper series, 2020-004 (April 4, 2020). Cohen makes the case that biometrics recognition techniques are already at least as reliable as conventional substitutes, and very likely more so. See full text.

10Q. Have healthcare regulators considered whether to encourage and permit the use of biometric recognition for patient identification or verification?

10A. Yes. For docket CMS–9115–P, CMS published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on various topics related to the May 2020 Interoperability and Patient Access final rule (CMS-9115-F)(85 FR 25510) for reference by impacted payers and providers. See full text by clicking CMS FAQ (also discussing access by patients and personal representatives of patients).

See also, Regulatory rules that address the criteria for patient identification and verification, in view of NIST and other standards, have been issued for Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Interoperability and Patient Access for Medicare Advantage Organization and Medicaid Managed Care Plans, State Medicaid Agencies, CHIP Agencies and CHIP Managed Care Entities, Issuers of Qualified Health Plans in the Federally-facilitated Exchanges and Health Care Providers; and 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Cert. Program (RIN 0955-AA01); and TEFCA Draft 2 with the QTF Draft 1. 

11Q.  Are there was to have the key performance criteria monitored and certified?

11A.  Yes.  New certification vis-a-vis performance standards and healthcare benchmarks can be arranged through companies like Biometric Care Corp.  See website link.

12Q. Can biometric recognition be used to improve the efficient roll-out of Early-Personalized Care™, Touchless Telehealth™, Intelligent Routing™, Social Dynamic Distancing™, RAPIDVU™ Services, Covid-19 vaccinations, Biometric Care™, or enhance health worker safety?

12A. Yes.  New certification vis-a-vis performance standards and healthcare benchmarks can be arranged through companies like Biometric Care Corp.  See website link.