HHS Moving Toward Fingerprint Checks

New Initiative Is Part of Fraud Crackdown
HHS Moving Toward Fingerprint Checks

To help prevent fraud, the Department of Heath and Human Services is taking a preliminary step toward fingerprint-based criminal background checks for the owners of certain organizations seeking to serve Medicare patients.

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In a request for information from vendors, HHS describes the potential use of fingerprint-based background checks as part of its National Fraud Prevention Program. The fingerprint-based background checks would be for initial screenings of owners of durable medical equipment companies, prosthetics/orthotics and supplies companies and home health agencies that apply for participation in the Medicare program. The checks would also apply to those seeking to rejoin the program after a moratorium.

The request for information, which poses a dozen questions that must be answered by April 30, is a preliminary step before soliciting bids. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing to hire a contractor to manage 50,000 fingerprint-based checks annually for four to five years. The contract will be awarded between December 2012 and February 2013.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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