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Lawmakers Recommend Expansion of Patient Matching Study

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Lawmakers Recommend Expansion of Patient Matching Study

By Jason Billups

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of senators penned a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) with recommendations on the GAO’s planned study on patient matching, as required under the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Act”).  In addition to the study parameters set forth in the Act, the letter urges the GAO to “provide data on the prevalence of patient data mismatches as well as the costs and risks associated with these mismatches” and “produce clear recommendations for steps that federal agencies, specifically ONC, could take to develop improved patient matching methods,” including considering a national patient matching strategy. The letter notes that accurate patient matching is essential for the sharing of patient information between healthcare providers, promoting efficient utilization of resources, and improving quality of care. The authors of the letter are Senators Elizabeth Warren, Orrin G. Hatch, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tammy Baldwin, and Bill Cassidy, M.D.