Health IT coalition: Appropriations Committee report makes important strides toward patient matching

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Health IT Now — a coalition of provider organizations, patient groups, health payers and health IT companies — praised the patient data matching provisions in the House Appropriations Committee's report on its fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education funding bill.

In the report, the House Appropriations Committee requested an evaluation into how patient matching systems impact care improvement, cost reduction, estimated saved lives and patient safety improvements. The evaluation would focus on how these variables might change if hospitals were required to use a patient matching system to participate in the Medicare program.

"Providers must have a means of accurately identifying patients and matching them to their health information. Our delay in adopting such technology threatens patient safety and results in significant avoidable costs," Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White wrote. "While there remains much work to be done in order to realize the full potential of patient data matching, the Appropriations Committee's report takes an important step forward by showing that Congress will not stand in the way of private sector innovations to curb patient identification errors."

Click here to read the full Health IT Now statement.

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