Government Advocacy

May 9, 2018: MGMA and other leading healthcare organizations urge Congress to end patient safety issues related to patient matching

Advocacy Letter

May 9, 2018 
 
The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman
House Committee on Appropriations H-305, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515 
 
The Honorable Richard Shelby, Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations
Room S-128, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20510 
 
The Honorable Tom Cole, Chairman
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
2358-B Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 
 
The Honorable Roy Blunt, Chairman
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
131 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 
 
 
The Honorable Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member
House Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, DC 20515 
 
The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations
S-146A, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20510 
 
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, DC 20515 
 
The Honorable Patty Murray, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Senate Committee on Appropriations
156 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 
 
 
Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen, Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Lowey, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Cole, Ranking Member DeLauro, Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray: 
 
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we wish to urge inclusion of report language that seeks to end patient safety issues related to patient matching in the House and Senate FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bills.  
 
For nearly two decades, innovation and industry progress has been stifled due to a narrow interpretation of the language included in Labor-HHS bills since FY1999, prohibiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from adopting or implementing a unique patient identifier. 
 
The patient matching report language below clarifies Congress’ intent while ensuring that the federal government does not impede private-sector efforts to solve this serious problem. The language enables the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), acting through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to provide technical assistance to private-sector led initiatives that support a coordinated national strategy to promote patient safety by accurately identifying patients and matching them to their health information. Allowing ONC and CMS to offer this type of technical assistance will help accelerate and scale safe and effective patient matching solutions. 
  Read the full letter
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