Times Union, April 8, 2011
Palm-scanning devices and identification cards could become part of a doctor's appointment under proposed legislation that aims to crack down on Medicaid fraud in New York. The bill, introduced Wednesday by Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, D-Bronx, and Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst, would dish out Medicard cards equipped with biometric technology. The bill's sponsors say the initial $20 million investment is a fraction of the estimated $5 billion in Medicaid fraud that occurs annually in the state. Medicaid is a medical care program for low-income residents. After receiving the card in the mail, an individual would scan his or her palm and activate the card in person at a county social services office. Checkups would begin and end with scanning and swiping. Staffers at pharmacies, clinics and hospitals also would have to scan patients' palms and swipe ID cards to validate services provided, and allow billing and payment.