SOURCE: Secure ID Coalition

September 14, 2011 12:01 ET

Secure ID Coalition Applauds Introduction of Medicare Common Access Card Act

Legislation Will Stop More Than $30 Billion in Medicare Fraud; SIDC Launches UpgradeTheCard.org Website and Video on Modernized Medicare Card Solution

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - The Secure ID Coalition's (SIDC) Executive Director Kelli Emerick issued this statement on the introduction of the Medicare Common Access Card Act of 2011:

"Today's introduction of the Medicare Common Access Card Act in both the House and the Senate is an important step in Congress' fight to help save American taxpayers tens of billions in waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare system. The Secure ID Coalition is proud to support this critical piece of legislation.

"This innovative bill will protect our nation's seniors by issuing them an upgraded, secure Medicare card similar to the identity credential used by the Department of Defense, known as the Common Access Card. Based on a smart card platform -- a proven, tested, and trusted technology used throughout government -- the modernized Medicare card will also help to protect our senior's privacy and security by taking the Social Security number off of the front of the Medicare card. This is a basic privacy protection seniors have been demanding for years, and it's about time they were heard.

"The bill's champions -- Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) -- deserve to be applauded for their unwavering dedication not only to protecting seniors, but in preserving the American taxpayers' investment in preserving Medicare."

Medicare fraud is estimated by the Department of Justice to be a $60 billion per year problem for American tax payers and the U.S. government. In 2010, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that improper payments alone within Medicare were estimated to be in excess of $48 billion per year. The upgraded Medicare card stands to eliminate a large portion of fraud and improper payments by enabling the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to authenticate and verify that the providers and recipients are who they say they are, and that they have received the services and equipment that they say they have.

To support the introduction of the Medicare Common Access Card Act of 2011, the SIDC launched a website, www.UpgradeTheCard.org, describing in detail the threat to Medicare, as well as information on how the upgraded Medicare card will protect senior's privacy and security, while saving American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year. The website and an informative video can be found at www.UpgradeTheCard.org.

To learn more about the SIDC, go to http://www.SecureIDCoalition.org.