The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to publish in the Federal Register on April 17 a proposed rule for implementing a requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to establish health plan IDs.

The department, as a result of the rule, hopes to begin dishing out Health Plan Identifiers (HPID) on Oct. 1.

HHS developed the HPID regulations to implement Section 1104 of PPACA, which requires HHS to set up a standard unique health plan identifier system.

In the same document, HHS officials have proposed postponing the date when U.S. health care organizations must shift to using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), from the ICD-9 system to Oct. 1, 2014, from Oct. 1, 2013.

Implementation of the HPID system is meant to provide a standard ID to combat the confusion of so many currently competing identifiers for health plans and health providers.