HIMSS Supports MATCH IT Act of 2024, a Bipartisan Bill to Address Patient Misidentification

Patient speaking with her healthcare provider

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) introduced a bill on Feb. 15 in the U.S. House of Representatives that would seek to improve patient safety and privacy issues by address the problem of patient misidentification within the healthcare ecosystem. 

The Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT (MATCH IT) Act of 2024 (H.R. 7379) would create an industry standard definition for the term “patient match rate” and would ensure accurate matching of patients with their medical record by improving standardization of patients’ demographic information entered into certified health IT products. 

“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 Reps. 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.” 

Representatives Kelly and Foster worked with the Patient ID Now Coalition, a group of healthcare organizations including HIMSS as a founding member, to develop the MATCH IT Act. Patient ID Now represents a wide range of healthcare stakeholders committed to advancing a nationwide strategy to address patient identification through legislation and regulations. 

Patient misidentification and matching errors within the U.S. healthcare system have long threatened the safety and privacy of patients and continues to drive unnecessary costs to patients and providers. The inability of clinicians to ensure patients are accurately matched with their medical records has resulted in medical errors, including patient deaths, and patients often undergo unnecessary repeated medical tests.   

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. 

Finding solutions to address patient misidentification and matching errors has long been a priority for HIMSS and our members and will continue to be a top advocacy priority until the problem is addressed. The introduction of this bipartisan bill is a great first step, and the HIMSS government relations team will continue to support patients and providers by advocating for policy changes that improve patient matching and identification.

Write to members of Congress and ask that they support this legislation. 

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