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Why Healthcare Technology Vendors Should Take Responsibility for Patient Matching

Thought Leadership

ONC and CMS recently requested information on patient matching before drafting rules on interoperability. One comment proposed by College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recommended health IT vendors meet a patient matching requirement. “At a minimum, vendors should be required to attest to their matching rate; make it a violation under data blocking not to share a patient matching rate,” said the organization. This recommendation encourages vendors to ensure that their solutions incorporate reliable patient matching. Inaccurate patient matching erodes the value of innovative healthcare solutions and harms patient experience and safety. How are you addressing this patient matching challenge?

Patient matching problems are compounding

Until recently, vendors have depended on clients to handle enterprise master patient index (EMPI) functionality across their enterprises. Now, rampant M&A activity and interoperability requests make relying on a single electronic health record (EHR) unreliable. Providers are acquiring hospitals, consolidating EHR systems, and integrating new facilities. Performance and implementation of EMPI solutions struggle to keep up with the demands placed on them by this expansion. In fact, a study by Healthcare Dive found that many organizations can’t determine match rates. Most only know the duplicate rate for in-house systems and can’t determine when records from other systems fail to link. Pew Charitable Trusts found that match rates are far below the desired rate for data exchange, Black Book Research found 18% of demographic patient records are duplicates, and Office of the National Coordinator of Health (ONC) found that match rates are as low as 50% between organizations.

Poor patient matching devalues vendor solutions

Duplicate records and poor data quality destroy patient record data integrity. Healthcare analytics derived from vendor solutions that can’t confidently report on the quality of their patient data are less impactful to healthcare organizations. Incomplete, inaccurate, and inconsistent patient data decreases the value of solutions for population health, revenue cycle management, payment solutions, care management, SDOH analytics, and more. For example:

  • A hospital may generate a separate ambulance bill and MRI bill for a patient admitted to the emergency room—because their EMPI cannot reconcile the identity information between the ambulance service and imaging clinic.
  • The revenue cycle supplier, not knowing that these two services were provided to the same person, has to duplicate efforts in the billing process (patient identity verification, insurance verification & authorization, address lookup, mailing, bill chasing, etc.).
  • On top of the additional cost in processing, the likelihood of collecting payment decreases with separate bills sent to an individual person.

For healthcare technology vendors, the risk of not delivering on their promises because of poor patient matching is often more expensive and time-consuming than implementing a patient matching solution within their offerings.

Patient matching technology can be easy to implement, nimble, and low cost.

Now, vendors can deliver reliable patient matching, embedded into their products, without developing it. Verato offers a SaaS-based next-generation EMPI solution that technology vendors can subscribe to, Verato Universal® MPI (UMPI) – Gartner validated and ranked #1 EMPI by Black Book Research. Verato’s solution is an easy to deploy, HITRUST certified, cloud-based solution, with pre-tuned Referential Matching℠ technology. It can integrate with any system, as well as downstream applications, through RESTful APIs—without disrupting existing architecture. Pricing is an easy on-ramp, pay as you grow model, so that vendors can quickly realize the value of Verato. Verato addresses identity issues unique to healthcare, and its value is proven by the most innovative HIEs, health systems, health plans, and tech vendors in the country. Plug in to world-class patient matching to ensure the integrity of your solutions is upheld.

Accurate patient matching enables interoperability, patient experience, and patient safety

There has been a history of sweeping patient matching problems under the rug, until now. The healthcare industry is starting to turn a spotlight on this roadblock to interoperability. Innovative healthcare leaders need accurate patient matching to achieve interoperability and prioritize patient experience. Vendors who realize that patient matching is integral to their products and take responsibility will succeed in delivering higher quality care solutions. Let Verato help!