Courtesy Senate Press Office
ATLANTA (February 9, 2011) – Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell) has co-sponsored a bill aimed at protecting taxpayer dollars from Medicaid fraud. Using enhanced technology, Senate Bill 63 requires that Medicaid cards integrate a computer chip that includes a digital photograph and fingerprint of the card holder. The use of smart card technology prevents such abuse as card sharing and phantom billing that cost U.S. taxpayers $60 billion a year.
“We’re leveraging technology to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars by eliminating any waste, fraud and abuse to preserve the Medicaid system for those who need it most,” said Albers. “Everyone wins when we can stop fraud before it ever occurs, including patients, doctors, insurance companies and law enforcement. I look forward to working with the bill’s co-sponsor, Senator William Ligon, to ensure that we’re protecting tax dollars from this rampant fraud.”
Smart card technology utilizes multi-factor authentication that ensures Medicaid patients receive the care they need while protecting patient privacy. When a Medicaid patient swipes their card, the doctor’s office can verify that patient’s identity using their digital photograph and fingerprint. Patients will provide a fingerprint scan when they enter the office and before they leave, providing proof that the patient received services and will prevent doctors from billing for services that were never rendered.
A pilot program will first be bid out to multiple vendors and implemented by the Department of Community Health. Participating medical providers will utilize a card reader and fingerprint scanner.
Albers noted that patient privacy is a cornerstone of the legislation. Patient information is encrypted and split between the card and the host system. Neither half is usable by itself. Additionally, the multi-factor authentication requires multiple factors to allow a transaction, including the card, the photograph and the patient’s fingerprint.
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Sen. John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton County. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.