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Lawmakers Introduce MATCH IT Act for Patient Matching, Interoperability

The Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT (MATCH IT) Act of 2024 would improve the interoperability of patients' demographic data within certified health IT.

United States Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Bill Foster (D-IL) have introduced new legislation aimed at improving patient matching and promoting interoperability.

The Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT (MATCH IT) Act of 2024 would improve the standardization of patients' demographic elements within certified health IT platforms. Additionally, the legislation would create an anonymous, voluntary system to measure patient match rates across the healthcare continuum.

"For too long, patient misidentification has put Americans within the US healthcare system at risk. Patient matching errors has led to unnecessary expenses, medical mistakes, and even patient deaths," Rep. Kelly said in a press release.  

"This bipartisan legislation works to improve interoperability between healthcare systems and decrease these fixable matching errors, all while protecting patient privacy," he added. "I want to thank Rep. Foster for joining me on this critical legislation that will improve both patient care and patient outcomes."

Patient misidentification poses risks to interoperability, hospital finances, and patient safety. Some studies put the cost of duplicate medical records and mismatched data at $1,950 per patient per inpatient stay.

Additionally, one-third of rejected insurance claims are linked to inaccurate patient identification, costing the US healthcare system $6 billion every year.

"I'm proud to introduce this legislation with Congressman Kelly that would help to decrease instances of patient misidentification that cause thousands of unnecessary deaths every year in the United States," said Rep. Foster.

"This legislation would promote interoperability of patient matching systems, which would protect patients and decrease burdens on healthcare providers," said Congressman Foster. "I also look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Kelly to eliminate barriers to unique patient identifiers so we can prevent medical errors and ensure patients receive the correct treatment."

In previous Congressional sessions, Reps. Kelly and Foster introduced amendments like the MATCH IT Act that passed in the House of Representatives by voice vote.

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