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SIA Backs Biometrics to Improve Integrity of Medicare, Medicaid Programs

Comments submitted to Senate Finance Committee 

July 2, 2012

Ron Hawkins
Manager of Technical Writing and Special Projects
Security Industry Association
(301) 804-4713

SILVER SPRING, MD.  Biometric technology could provide a highly effective way to reduce fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Security Industry Association (SIA) advised the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. The committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid, on May 2 released an open letter in which it sought "solutions and suggestions for how to better prevent and combat the multi-billion dollar problem of waste, fraud and abuse" in the federal government's two largest health care programs.

SIA responded with a white paper in which it asserted that "the use of biometrics in identification and authentication will meet the goals of the reforms" identified by the committee.

The association stated that the use of biometrics would have several positive effects, including protecting beneficiaries, since it would "provide assurance that patient information is protected and is bound to the correct person" and improving payment integrity by "ensuring that services claimed to have been delivered to beneficiaries actually have been delivered."

SIA stressed the importance of privacy protection in the implementation of a biometric program, stating that beneficiaries must have control over how biometric data is used and that best practices must be utilized to protect personally identifiable information. It also pointed committee members to the SIA Privacy Framework, which provides guidelines for implementing electronic security technology in a way that maximizes both security and privacy. 

The Finance Committee plans to release a document that includes key proposals this year.
The Security Industry Association ( is the leading trade group for businesses in the electronic and physical security industry. SIA protects and ­advances its members' interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation on Capitol Hill and throughout the 50 states; producing cutting-edge global market research; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities. As sole sponsor of the ISC Expos, the world's largest security trade shows and conferences, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities.