Biometric ID Cards May Cut Medicaid Fraud

To cut back rising fraud and abuse in the federal health insurance program for the poor, disabled, and elderly, several states are looking at using biometric tools to better identify Medicaid patients. New York, Texas, and Georgia are either considering laws or piloting programs using the new technology. According to lawmakers, the technology would catch duplicate prescription requests and medical services, which costs the Medicaid program billions of dollars each year.

Under a New York proposal introduced April 6, the “Medicaid Identification and Anti-fraud Biometric Technology Program” would require the state to implement a program requiring the use of biometric technology in the form of palm scanners to be used by hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies for the purpose of patient identification and anti-fraud in the Medicaid program.

According to N.Y. state officials, New York will spend over $54 billion this year on Medicaid and about 10 percent or $5 billion will be fraudulent charges. This new legislation would implement biometric technology at a one-time cost of $20 million. The funds would be raised by implementing a 1 cent per prescription charge for a six-month period on Medicaid prescriptions written in New York.

Identification cards would be issued to physicians, clinical staff, and pharmacies for the purpose of authenticating patient visits and prescription orders. The ID cards would contain coded and encrypted biometric markers, as well as a computer code. Medicaid patients would receive their ID card in the mail. They would scan a palm and activate the card in person at a county social services office.

Checkups would begin and end with the card being scanned. Physician offices, facilities, and pharmacies would scan patients’ palms and swipe the card, allowing payment. New York state would outfit providers with the palm scanners, which cost about $300 each.

According to a timesunion.com report, Texas has experimented with fingerprinting, and Georgia has already approved a similar bill to institute Medicaid ID cards with biometric technology.

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4 Responses to “Biometric ID Cards May Cut Medicaid Fraud”

  1. Hope says:

    During the information war it ws already considered a relief to have information generated to SS#, the biometric cards are the same concept from another point of view. It does require, when re-establishing information alot of monies. Will it reduce fraud, the evaluation can only be made by entering the same queries from different areas w/ the same people. EFTA ws never considered as a violation because of the transaction being a direct from The Treasury itself, to find that persons have improved or have had or the need created meant the consideration of all the new technology to keep track of the information did not create employment, so the information would mean the users/ creaters of the information does not have an understanding of the entire need to be meant information. Anyone can use your information or does use the information w/ the same information, their is no one that has the same information. hca/HCA 2:28pm

  2. cathy says:

    People should be shocked that one state is using 54 billion taxpayer dollars to give free medical care to “poor people”. I think if we dont get a grip on entitlements we are in trouble. I don,t believe scanning palms is necessary.That reeks of more government control.How long you can live on the taxpayer dollars is a better option. Education is an option. Is it not cheaper to give someone a 2-4 year college education than it is to give free medical care for the rest of their lives? When a baby is placed on medicaid at birth, it can remain on it until it is 19 years old. I believe as some who does billing and insurance everyday the fraud is in having perfectly capable people of a working age using medicaid and other government programs as thier means of living in this world instead of work. Fraud or abuse is when taxpayers are forced to pay for free medical care for women who choose to have one child after another, with no means of support other than taxpayer dollars.Talk about wealth redistribution. When you don’t pay for your insurance then there is no limit to how many times you can take you or your child to the doctor. When you pay for your own insurance there is a co-pay each time and you have to think< do I really need to go.Compliance is another problem,I think when your care is free you are not as inclined to take care of your weight or quit smoking,you can just go to the doctor when you have an asthma attack or your blood sugar is out of control. Maybe drug testing as well. I think bottom line instead of high tech palm reading we need some basic screening of applicants and the real need to be on medicaid would save trillions. I believe if you have a baby its yours to feed and cloth and take to the doctor, not your neighbors. Take care of yourself !

  3. Brad says:

    What is your source that one state is using “54 billion taxpayer dollars” to give free medical care to poor people?

  4. Jessica says:

    This would help so much, working in a pediatric clinic that was 99% medicaid when we got new pt’s we had to check history on the Medicaid website and it they were existing pt’s we had to make sure that physicals were at least a year apart. This would help speed up the process for some clinics and it would help cut the costs overall. It would be the people who are “working” the system who would be against it, but I think it would help w/ some of the drug problems as well. Here in KY we have many people who abuse the system and need to know they can’t get away w/ it. I am all for this to be nation wide.

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