Complementary Smart Card Guidance for the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide
Publication Date: October 2011
Version 1.1 of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange’s (WEDI) Health Identification Card Implementation Guide includes Integrated Circuit Cards (ICC), commonly known as smart cards, as an appropriate card type. The Smart Card Alliance supports the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide and its intent to enable automated and interoperable identification using standardized machine-readable health identification cards in an effort to bring uniformity of information, appearance, and technology to the over 100 million cards now issued by healthcare providers, health plans, government programs, and others.
For organizations considering upgrading their member identity cards to smart cards, the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council developed this white paper to serve as a supplement to the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide. It provides WEDI-compliant smart card designs and includes a discussion of the features and benefits of smart ID cards for healthcare providers and payers.
Smart card technology is used globally for secure identity, access and payment applications. Within the U.S., smart card technology is currently used for a wide variety of applications: government and enterprise identity cards, the U.S. ePassport, contactless credit and debit cards, transit fare payment cards and GSM mobile phones. In addition, Visa’s announcement to accelerate U.S. migration to EMV smart credit and debit cards is a major step in moving the U.S. payment system from insecure magnetic stripe technology to secure smart card technology to reduce fraud and to bring the U.S. in line with the payments infrastructure in the rest of the world.
Although the purpose of a health ID card is use by a consumer to convey identity information to healthcare providers or others, only cards based on smart card technology can provide identity assurance and authentication while increasing patient privacy and security. Additionally, smart cards bring operational efficiencies to the healthcare system that reduce costs, reduce fraud, and increase patient satisfaction. As EHRs and personal health records (PHRs) move to the mainstream, smart health ID cards can also be used as a two-factor authentication mechanism into a provider or insurer web portal. Smart health ID cards protect patient privacy and security when accessing online records and support the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), which identifies consumer access to online electronic health records as warranting two-factor authentication.
Smart health ID cards also facilitate compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements and, when used by healthcare providers, with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) two-factor authentication requirement for ePrescribing controlled substances and the forthcoming requirement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use two-factor authentication to access and exchange EHRs.
A WEDI-compliant smart health ID card can incorporate a smart card chip and deliver benefits to healthcare providers and payers. Smart cards can be used in all environments. With a smart health ID card, patient information can be stored in the smart card chip and accessed from authorized readers; a patient photo can also be included on the health ID card. Issuers also have the option to remove printed personal and confidential information from the card and store it securely in the smart card, protecting patient privacy.
As a standards-based technology, smart card solutions for patient identity management are deployed around the world and are available from numerous vendors. While other, non-smart card ID technologies exist in the market, only smart cards offer strong authentication, non-repudiation (digital signatures), and secure, rewriteable data storage. As such, smart card technology is uniquely positioned to support the delivery of multiple benefits simultaneously, including the delivery of value-added services, process automation, and fraud/cost reductions.
Smart card technology provides a strong foundation for health ID cards, enabling improvement in healthcare processes and in patient identity verification, while securing patient information and protecting patient privacy.
About the White Paper
This white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council to serve as a supplement to the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide, provide WEDI-compliant smart card designs and discuss the features and benefits of smart ID cards for healthcare providers and payers.
Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council members involved in the development of this white paper included: Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC); Datacard Group; Gemalto; Identive Group–SCM Microsystems; LifeMed ID, Inc.; Oberthur Technologies; OTI America; Watchdata Technologies USA; XTec, Inc.
About the Health and Human Services Council
The Smart Card Alliance Health & Human Services Council brings together human services organizations, payers, healthcare providers, and technologists to promote the adoption of smart cards in U.S. health and human services organizations and within the national health IT infrastructure. The Health & Human Services Council provides a forum where all stakeholders can collaborate to educate the market on the how smart cards can be used and to work on issues inhibiting the industry.