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Health IT Now Lauds Patient Matching Provisions in Appropriations Committee Report

WASHINGTON, DC (July 18, 2017): Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – applauded the inclusion of key 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. 

Earlier this year, Health IT Now partnered with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to lead more than twenty health advocacy groups in calling upon Congressional appropriators to include language supporting “private-sector led initiatives” to develop a coordinated patient data matching strategy in this year’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill. The Appropriations Committee report honors this request. 

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement: 

“In the year 2017, 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,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White. “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. The report also makes clear CMS should explore more aggressively requiring safe matching systems for hospitals in Medicare. With studies finding that hospital medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the US, we applaud the Committee for including this much-needed directive and working to give our health care professionals a full, accurate picture of patients’ health information. Health IT Now thanks Chairman Frelinghuysen and members of the Appropriations Committee for their commitment to patient safety and urges their Senate Appropriations Committee counterparts to follow suit.”  

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About Health IT Now: Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.

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