PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Sept. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coinciding with this week's National Health IT Week, the Smart Card Alliance Health and Human Services Council has announced its endorsement of the Medicare Common Access Card Act of 2013 (H.R. 3024). The bi-partisan legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), would establish a pilot program to develop a secure Medicare card using smart card technology to protect seniors' personal information, prevent fraud and speed payment to doctors and hospitals.
"National Health IT Week is about spreading awareness of healthcare IT issues, so the timing is right to draw attention to the Medicare Common Access Card Act of 2013, which aims to address a major issue - Medicare fraud and a lack of security in Medicare cards," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "We strongly support a Medicare Common Access Card program, as it is estimated that upgrading the Medicare system with globally proven smart card technology could save American taxpayers $30 billion or more per year in fraud and waste reductions."
The endorsement comes as the Health and Human Services Council, formerly the Healthcare Council, expands its charter to promote the adoption of smart cards in U.S. health and human services organizations and within the national health IT infrastructure.
"The expanded charter will allow the Council to address identity, security and fraud issues in healthcare and beyond into social services programs like Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, and unemployment. We intend to provide valuable resources on how these programs can benefit from the use of a single, secure, multi-purpose smart card-based credential," said Michael Magrath, Gemalto and chair of the Smart Card Alliance Health and Human Services Council.
The Eighth Annual National Health IT Week is being held this week through Sept. 20. The Smart Card Alliance Health and Human Services Council supports this initiative, which aims to create a collaborative forum where public and private healthcare constituents will work in partnership to educate industry and policy stakeholders on the value of health IT for the U.S. healthcare system.
Smart Card Alliance resources on Healthcare ID can be found at http://www.smartcardalliance.org/pages/smart-cards-applications-healthcare-identity.
About the Smart Card Alliance Health and Human Services Council
The Health & Human Services Council activities stimulate the understanding, adoption and widespread acceptance of single and multi-application smart card technology for healthcare applications.
The Health & Human Services Council activities include:
- Providing educational resources for health and human services organizations, consumers, government organizations and members to foster deployment of smart cards in the marketplace;
- Identifying the challenges and opportunities in the emerging health and human services marketplace for applications that can be supported by smart card technology;
- Promoting the development and use of standards for health and human services applications
Participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.
Source:Smart Card Alliance