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US pols want a voluntary patient-record matching standard

US pols want a voluntary patient-record matching standard

A toothless bill that would create a minimum rate for digital patient records has been proposed in the lower house of the U.S. Congress.

If passed, the White House would have to define what patient record matching means and set a standard of 99.9 percent. Matching patients with their digital records to such a high degree of accuracy would likely mean issuing digital identities. The regulation would cover health care providers, software developers and health care IT organizations.

The legislation is called the Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT Act, or Match IT. But it would be a voluntary standard and results would be confidential.

It also would not require anyone covered by the act to actually meet the 99.9 percent minimum.

Bill sponsors wrote the document focused on demographic data, which, when mismatched reportedly can have serious health repercussions for patients. In drafting a definition (in collaboration with the private sector), it would seem likely that biometrics would be considered for a standard dataset.

The finished product would be entered into the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability.

The government would have up to 245 months after a standard is set to “incorporate and adopt” it.

Reps. Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Bill Foster, an Illinois Democrat, introduced the bill.

“This bipartisan legislation works to improve interoperability between health care systems and decrease these fixable matching errors,” Kelly said in a statement.

Foster has long been one of the most outspoken advocates for digital ID in Congress.

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