Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced bipartisan legislation to streamline patient electronic health record (EHR) matching among healthcare providers using the United States Postal Service (USPS) address-formatting tool.

The Patient Matching Improvement Act, introduced on August 6, is an effort to improve how health IT systems exchange information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare systems would use the USPS address-formatting tool to standardize information and correctly link electronic health records across systems.

“Giving health care providers access to the Postal Service’s existing address tools would help save lives by making it easier to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing,” Sen. Hassan said. “This common-sense bipartisan legislation should be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. There does not appear to be companion legislation in the House.

Sen. Hassan wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services last month asking the agency to collaborate with USPS on electronic health record modernization. In the letter, she explained that the inter-agency collaboration could result in tens of thousands of additional correct health record linkages per day.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.