House 2018 budget proposal would ask HHS to consider patient matching

The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations' report on its proposed fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education funding bill requests HHS investigate patient matching.

Congress has discouraged HHS from developing a national patient identifier, according to GovInfoSecurity.com. However, to promote interoperability, legislators and advocacy groups have recently been pursuing new ways to connect patients to the correct data across disparate systems.

A provision of the House Committee on Appropriations' proposed budget requests HHS complete a report on how patient matching would improve care, reduce costs and decrease errors. It also asks the department to investigate what patient safety improvements hospitals may experience if participation in a patient matching system became a requirement for the Medicare program.

"The committee is aware that a number of patient matching systems are currently being used in the commercial sector, but one has yet to be adopted in Medicare," the report states. "The committee recognizes that a lack of a patient matching system for Medicare beneficiaries results in duplicate procedures and poses a significant patient safety risk."

Click here to view the full report.

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