Bipartisan Representatives Introduce MATCH IT Act of 2024

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CHICAGO, Feb. 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Patient ID Now, a coalition of leading healthcare organizations, including the American Health Information Management Association® (AHIMA®), applauds the introduction of the Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT (Match IT) Act of 2024 by Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Representative Bill Foster (D-IL) today in the US House of Representatives.  

The MATCH IT Act would address the problem of patient misidentification within the healthcare ecosystem while improving patient safety and privacy. The bill would create an industry standard definition for the term “patient match rate” — to allow measurement of patient match rates across the healthcare system — and would improve standardization of patients’ demographic elements entered into certified health IT products to ensure patients are accurately matched with the correct medical record.  

Patient misidentification within the US healthcare system has long threatened patient safety and privacy and is a driver of unnecessary costs to patients and providers. The inability of clinicians to ensure patients are accurately matched with their medical records has caused medical errors and even patient deaths. Patients often undergo unnecessary repeated medical tests because of the inability to ensure accurate matches to their medical records.  

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According to Black Book Research, the expense of repeated medical care due to duplicate records costs an average of $1,950 per patient inpatient stay and more than $1,700 per emergency department visit. Thirty-five percent of all denied claims result from inaccurate patient identification, costing the average hospital $2.5 million and the US healthcare system more than $6.7 billion annually. 

“The American Health Information Management Association® (AHIMA®) commends Representatives Mike Kelly and Bill Foster for prioritizing patient safety and for continuing to champion the issue of patient matching,” said AHIMA President and Board Chair, Mona Calhoun, PhD, MS, Med, RHIA, FAHIMA. “The MATCH IT Act would help decrease rates of misidentification, improve patient privacy and patient care through a standardization of patient information, and allow records to be matched more accurately. AHIMA looks forward to the passage of this critical legislation.” 

Here is what leaders of other coalition member organizations said about the recent legislation: 

  • “On behalf of our members, which include chief information officers and other digital health leaders from hospitals and healthcare providers across the globe, we appreciate the leadership of Representatives Mike Kelly and Bill Foster in introducing the MATCH IT Act. This bill will make a meaningful impact on patient misidentification through the standardization of patient information and builds off important work by CHIME and the other organizations in the Patient ID Now coalition to improve patient matching.” Cassie Ballard, Director of Congressional Affairs, CHIME

  • “HIMSS is a proud supporter of the MATCH IT Act, which would improve patient safety and enhance care coordination by tackling a critical issue affecting our healthcare ecosystem – patient misidentification,” said HIMSS President & CEO Hal Wolf. “We applaud Representatives Mike Kelly and Bill Foster for their continued leadership on this important issue and urge Congress to prioritize patient safety by passing this important legislation.”

  • Craig Richardville, MBA, CHCIO, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Intermountain Health, offered Intermountain Health’s strong support for the MATCH IT Act of 2024, saying, “[T]his legislation will address our nation’s current inability to consistently and accurately identify patients to their health records. Improved standardization of patient demographic data will lead to more accurate patient matching, which in turn will produce advances in patient safety, more complete information for clinical care, and cost savings from reducing the need for repeated medical care, among other benefits. Intermountain Health salutes long-time congressional champions on patient matching, Representatives Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Bill Foster of Illinois.” 

  

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About Patient ID Now 
Patient ID Now is a coalition of healthcare organizations representing a wide range of healthcare stakeholders committed to advancing a nationwide strategy to address patient identification through legislation and regulations. Founding members include the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS), and Intermountain Health.  

CONTACT: Erin Wendel-Ritter American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) (312) 233-1091 [email protected] 

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