Lawmakers Push Plan To Replace Medicare Cards With ‘Smart Cards’
The move could help prevent fraud, the lawmakers say. Also, a congressional advisory group is studying Medicare's drug policies.
Medicare 'Smart Cards' Pitched As Fraud Prevention
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., is teaming with Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., in pushing a plan aimed at replacing traditional Medicare cards with smart cards containing computer chips to guard against fraud and identity theft. Roskam's proposal (HR 3220) would create a test program to distribute Medicare common access cards to store personal and health-related data. The senior tax writer predicted the measure would draw broad support as a stand-alone bill or as an add-on to other legislation in the Ways and Means Committee, as the GOP hunts for ways to curb the growth of entitlements. (Ota, 9/10)
Medicare Drug Plans' Safety Net Proving Costly, MedPAC Says
The substantial safety-net protections for insurance plans that cover prescriptions may be dulling the insurers' incentive to negotiate the best deals for Medicare at a time of rising pharmaceutical costs, advisers to Congress said. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission will delve Friday into how the federal health plan for the elderly and disabled manages pharmaceutical spending, including the approximately $78 billion Part D prescription drug plan program. The plans cover the routine prescriptions people purchase in pharmacies. Medicare pays for drugs given in doctors' offices and hospitals through the separate outpatient care part of the program. (Young, 9/10)