Lawmakers target Medicaid fraud

ATLANTA --- In an effort to stop Medicaid fraud, Senate Republicans want to put recipients' fingerprints and photographs on benefit cards.

The cards could save taxpayers as much as $100 million in fraud that could be prevented, said one Senate leader.

Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, said the legislation he is co-sponsoring with Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, was still being drafted Thursday. Introduction and assignment of a bill number and committee will come next week.

"We want to make sure that the person using the card is in fact the Medicaid recipient," Ligon said. "So it stops the transfer of cards."

When patients visit doctors or hospitals for treatment, they'll place a finger in a reading machine the state will supply. That is not only for identification but also to keep track of the time a patient is in the office, like clocking in for work.

State monitors would know something is wrong if a provider bills the state for a medical procedure that couldn't be performed in the time the patient was in the office.

A company in Blackshear, Ga., sells the technology to other states, said Senate President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams, R-Lyons.

Company executives convinced Williams that it has worked in other states, and Williams asked the two freshman senators to sponsor the bill.

Providers would be limited in the amount of pain-and-suffering damages a Medicaid patient could sue them for in the case of malpractice, and that limitation would likely save the doctors and hospitals money on their professional liability insurance.

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happychimer
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happychimer 02/03/11 - 03:15 pm
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Good idea!

Good idea!

REDRIDER
134
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REDRIDER 02/03/11 - 03:24 pm
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They need to do this with EBT

They need to do this with EBT cards as well.

cathycap
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cathycap 02/03/11 - 04:33 pm
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I definately agree that this

I definately agree that this could be a good way to cut Medicaid fraud. The only disagreement I have about fingerprints for EBT cards is that there are disabled people who have others do their shopping for them with their cards. I work for an organization that provides host homes for people with developmental disabilities. Some of these are severely disabled and unable to shop for themselves, hence their home provider shops for them and uses their card if they have one to purchase their food for them. Maybe if they were to do such a thing for EBT cards they could have a "payee" type person who is allowed to do their shopping for them for instances such as this?

Medicaid watcher
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Medicaid watcher 02/03/11 - 07:02 pm
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Idea is a good start but not

Idea is a good start but not very practical in implementation. The cost of starting such a requirement severely outweighs the size of the problem. There is far more fraud dollars being paid to medical providers for fraudulent care than there is individual medical fraud to obtain services. this is a political stunt and should be rejected as unworkable and not cost effective to the state. Mr.Ligon would better serve the state and its citizens by concentrating on reducing the amount of Medical provider of service fraudulent acts. This is where the REAL fraud is occurring in the amounts of billions annually. More efforts should be given for more and faster enforcement of fraudulent medicaid acts first. Lets do that first and rethink the expense of such a insane proposal. I suggest he spends some time with the states fraud unit and surely he will reconsider his plan.

seenitB4
87395
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seenitB4 02/04/11 - 08:44 am
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Yes,, do it now------fraud

Yes,, do it now------fraud has gotten out of hand.

jefles
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jefles 02/04/11 - 09:10 am
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Medicaid Watcher beat me to

Medicaid Watcher beat me to the point and is absolutely correct. The fraud is generally perpetrated by crooked providers, not poor people trying to get medical services. MW also is right that the ability to process thousands of fingerprints daily, and do it accurately, is astronomical. If the Senators want to put a dent in this, have them contact me, we have a system that is now being piloted by Medicare, can scale to millions of transactions and uses existing technology.

deadtired
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deadtired 02/04/11 - 09:19 am
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I still thank drug testing

I still thank drug testing would cut down on the bills if you on drugs you should loss all help

WW1949
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WW1949 02/04/11 - 09:39 am
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It seems to me that I heard

It seems to me that I heard or read that one state was doing tests for drug use and you also had to submit to random testing when obtaining any type of state tax payer assistance. I like that very much. The receiver should have to go to a place to do their test and always go there to reload the EBT card. I also like the idea of a picture of the person getting the help and if cripple then another picture of the person that does the shopping for them.

usapatriot
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usapatriot 02/04/11 - 02:37 pm
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jefles, don't wait for them

jefles, don't wait for them to come to you. What kind of business model is that?

I agree, most fraud is from the provided side, not the recipient. But look at it this way. Who is the bigger political donor class? Can't step heavily on the hand that feeds you (the politician).

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