Montesano Co-Sponsors Medicaid Fraud Bill

Legislation would identify and prevent fraud with new biometric technology
April 18, 2012

Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R, I, C – Glen Head) is co-sponsoring legislation calling for New York to utilize state-of-the-art biometric technology to locate and prevent fraud in the state’s $53 billion Medicaid system. With experts estimating fraudulent Medicaid charges cost taxpayers $5 billion from 2010 to 2011, this bill is an essential tool for recouping lost funds and preventing future abuse.

“Medicaid is a vital provider of health insurance to the poor, disabled and elderly – but the sad truth is that the services these vulnerable groups depend on are threatened by the rampant fraud in the rest of the system,” said Montesano. “The bill I am co-sponsoring will help fight fraud and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”

Biometrics is the science of measuring and analyzing biological data through items such as DNA, fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, and vocal patterns for authentication purposes. Under the proposed legislation, Medicaid recipients will be issued an identification card containing encrypted biometric markers and codes for verification. These cards also will contain an anti-fraud computer code to prevent fraud on the front end of a transaction, as opposed to having to rely on law enforcement to act after the fact. These devices also will be issued to physicians and other medical services to authenticate patient visits and prescription orders.

“The advances in biometrics will prove to be vital in the elimination of Medicaid fraud,” said Montesano. “By implementing biometric palm readers and software, we can catch the duplicate prescription requests and services, abuse and misuse of prescription drugs that currently take months to discover, and even longer, if ever, to recoup, before they occur.

“I strongly urge my colleagues in the state Legislature to act on this legislation and save our taxpayers from billions of dollars in fraudulent costs.”