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Prescription Drug Industry Drives Upgrade in ID Card Standard

Contact: Maryann Karinch
Karinch Communications

Prescription Drug Industry Drives Upgrade in ID Card Standard
INCITS' Technical Committee B10 Undertakes Revision of INCITS 284 American National Standard

Washington, D.C. July 29, 2002 - Responding to a request by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), Technical Committee B10 of the InterNational Committee on Information Technology Standards (INCITS) has decided to revise the Uniform Health Care Identification Card Standard (INCITS 284). NCPDP's issue centers on the fact that the current magnetic strip specification does not have sufficient capacity to carry identification of dependents and certain other information. B10 will review the functionality and design of the standard and make changes or additions needed for the standard to fulfill its purpose of health card identification in the United States.

"There are now more than 100 million health care identification cards in circulation in the United States used by more than 1 million health care providers," said Kate McMillan, director of the Secretariat for INCITS. "In order to remain useful to this expansive community, INCITS 284 has to change to keep up with new electronic data interchange (EDI) requirements."

NCPDP adopted INCITS 284 for national implementation by pharmacy eligibility and billing systems.  Twelve states have enacted legislation based on the standard and the associated NCPDP implementation guide.

Any company or individual with a material interest in identification card standards is welcome to join B10.  Details about B10’s meeting schedule are at .

The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) is the venue of choice for information technology developers, producers and users for the creation and maintenance of formal IT standards. INCITS is accredited by, and operates under rules approved by, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These rules are designed to ensure that voluntary standards are developed by the consensus of directly and materially affected interests. Contact: INCITS Secretariat, Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC), 1250 Eye St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005   ( .