Saving Money, Saving Medicare
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that in 2010, over $65 billion dollars in improper federal payments were made through both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. An April 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that fraud and abuse cost Medicare and Medicaid as much as $98 billion dollars in 2011. Despite these good faith estimates, the true cost of fraud and abuse in health care remains unknown. However, one point is certain: the financial impact of waste, fraud and abuse threatens the very existence of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
If we are to ever curb fraud within the Medicare system, we need to verify those who are approved to provide services, validate those who are authorized to receive benefits, and prevent those who are unauthorized from ever entering the system.
Secure the card, save Medicare.
Strong, multi-factor authentication, such used by Chip-and-PIN cards or Chip-and-Biometric (fingerprint) cards could easily replace current insurance and benefit cards, protecting Americans against the health and financial consequences of medical identity theft.
Authenticating Medicare beneficiaries and providers and requiring the use of secure personalized credentials will reduce fraud by:
• Verifying beneficiaries are authorized to receive prescribed services and pharmaceuticals or equipment;
• Verifying providers are authorized to provide those services and bill Medicare;
• Verifying suppliers, such as durable medical equipment (DME) vendors, are authorized to provide products and/or services and bill Medicare
• Preventing imposters from posing as beneficiaries or providers, thereby thwarting fraudulent transactions; and
• Verifying and coding each transaction to prevent phantom billing, processing errors and DME abuse.
Further, an upgraded Medicare card would protect beneficiary’s privacy by taking their Social Security number off the front of the Medicare card, and locking it securely within the card’s onboard computer chip – an important step in helping to rein in identity theft.
A Pilot Program To Reduce Fraud
The Medicare Common Access Card Act (H.R. 3024) creates a pilot program to start modernizing the current Medicare card to a smart card based on established, non-proprietary government standards. This much needed upgrade to the Medicare card will achieve two very important tasks: it will eliminate the Social Security number from the front of the card, and it will reduce fraud within the Medicare system. In addition it will assist in matching beneficiaries to the correct medical record, eliminating medical errors and saving lives. Industry estimates such a smart card program could reduce Medicare fraud by over fifty percent, a taxpayer cost savings of over $30 billion per year.
Support the Medicare Common Access Card Act HR. 3024 Today and Save Medicare For Tomorrow.
Secure ID News to Know
If there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the past few days since the Internet of Things (IoT) distributed-denial-of-service attack (DDoS) attack gave the Internet brain freeze last Friday is that (1) IoT devices are insecure, (2) we have a really good idea what needs to be done to make them more secure, yet (3) it’s hard to get everyone on the same page in dedicating the resources to actually make them more secure.
While that might seem like a stark truth, it only makes sense given how our economy and legal system works. Since no one company or device was responsible for allowing the attack, there’s no specific organization to shame or blame. Plus, it’s way too easy to point fingers at everyone else in the room and say there was nothing that could’ve been done, as everyone is responsible. Further, security costs money, and at the moment, companies want to pour their resources into grabbing IoT market share, not plugging holes that may or may not cause problems downstream. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking invites regulators and legislators to step in and attempt to dictate technology standards and best practices to address harms, both real and imagined.Read more...
Monday kicked off National Health IT week! While the United States has made progress in moving towards a more modern healthcare system, significant work remains. There’s no disputing that our medical device and health technology companies are the most advanced on the planet, developing the solutions that are diagnosing diseases earlier, expanding treatment options, and improving quality of life. However, when it comes to healthcare and identity—making sure that the correct data is associated with the right patient, and ensuring that that information is able to be shared, analyzed, and acted upon in a timely fashion—the United States lags woefully behind many other developed nations.Read more...
The Secure ID Coalition is thrilled to announce the launch of its new Action Center to build grassroots support for the Medicare Common Access Card Act (H.R.3220/S.1871), a bipartisan measure in Congress that will upgrade the current paper Medicare card with the same secure, electronic smart card trusted by the Department of Defense to authorize access to its most secure IT systems and facilities—including the Pentagon.
Members of Congress have begun to recognize that if we are going to get serious about stopping Medicare fraud, we have to start by modernizing the current paper Medicare card. Last week Bloomberg BNA reported on the latest efforts by members of the House Ways & Means Committee to bring Medicare into the 21st Century by upgrading the Medicare Card. The article summarized efforts in last week's House Ways & Means Committee hearing in which Rep. Peter Roskam highlighted the Medicare Common Access Card Act (click here to watch Rep. Roskam tackle the issue head on).Read more...