How can you share data if you don’t know who your patients are?

That is a very good question. In Meaningful Use II there is a really big push for interoperable data. That is the sharing of data between healthcare facilities to provide a complete picture of an individual health record. It all sounds really great and would be if healthcare facilities had more accurate ways of identifying their patients. The current methods of identifying patients with demographics lead to misidentification of patients, duplicate records and the inaccurate merging of records. Healthcare provider organizations report that between 8 and 13 percent of their medical records are duplicated — and sometimes as high as 22 percent. In multi-facility environments, where disparate application systems are integrated, the percentage of duplicates can surpass 30 percent. Solving this issue can be frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Software packages are available to compare patient records from disparate systems and indicate the probability that two records are duplicates, unique or potentially duplicate. These packages use probabilistic matching algorithms that incorporate phonetic similarities, variances in typographical entries and dates, and aliases. By determining the relative “weight” of specific comparators, the patient identity process improves significantly. However, until you have absolute healthcare identification, you will never prevent duplicate records and will always be in a constant loop of data cleansing. By using a combination of smart cards and biometric identification, you can confidently identify the patient during the registration process. You don’t have to depend on what the patient tells you to verify who they are; the biometric will do that for you. You can record the time and dates that a patient receives care, preventing both identify theft and billing fraud. As I stated at the beginning, you can’t share data between systems if you [...]

What Loyalty Programs Would Mean for Healthcare

Everyone loves to get something for free or at a discount. Many industries use loyalty programs to allow customers to accrue points and use them as coupons to get freebies or reduced prices the next time they come to the store, airline, or car rental among others. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published an article suggesting that “the use of loyalty programs within accountable care organizations (ACOs) could be a means of achieving patient-centric care and enhance the health system business model.” Patient retention is a problem for many practices. Loyalty programs could offer patients benefits such as vouchers for free parking, cafeteria discounts, preferred rates at restaurants or hotels, or even cab and bus vouchers, according to the article. The benefits can grow over time to ensure people with the greatest health needs receive the most rewards. The programs also could extend to medical supply companies, pharmacies and other ancillary providers, and potentially be tailored to individual patients, the authors suggest. Health systems could benefit if their loyalty programs would encourage patients to seek care with affiliated clinicians, keeping the patient within the ACOs care network. That could help ACOs save money by discouraging patients from seeking more costly care. Loyalty program members also are more likely to see the health system in a positive light and increase the customer satisfaction quotient. We would add that pairing the idea of a loyalty program with a smartcard biometric registration application, like Privasent, would further enhance the patient safety and satisfaction aspect. The physical smartcard could be used as the loyalty program token as well as providing absolute healthcare identity for the patient. Absolute healthcare identity supports the ACOs by eliminating identity fraud, reducing [...]

Why Palm-Vein Scans are Better for Healthcare than Fingerprints

Fingerprints have been used for identification of individuals for the last hundred years and that is part of the problem with them. Getting your fingerprints taken is associated with law enforcement and having done something wrong. When you go to the doctor, it is essential that they know “you are the real you,” but if you are at the hospital, you usually feel bad enough already without being treated like a criminal. Fingerprints have the problem of being annoyingly unreliable and easily damaged. During winter months, for example, when the air is particularly dry, many fingerprint scanners have trouble reading fingerprints and numerous scans need to be performed to get an accurate reading. Palm-vein scanning as a biometric authentication method has also been around a while, but not as long as fingerprinting. The process identifies an individual by taking a picture of the vein pattern in your palm and converting it to a mathematical representation, that is encrypted and stored. Like fingerprints, the vein pattern of your hand is unique to you—and only you—but is not as easily damaged by everyday life. During authentication, the palm-vein image is captured, converted again and compared against the stored template of the user. Vein recognition technology is secure because the authentication data exists inside the body and therefore is very difficult to forge. It is also highly accurate. In Japan, palm-vein scanners have been used for consumer banking identification for the last 10 years. Additionally, palm-vein scanning products are also being used for door security, login authentication and other applications. Here in the United States, we are beginning to use them in healthcare settings for unique patient identification. Palm-vein scanning easily integrates into the registration process and provides low cost, [...]

Healthcare Payers Need Absolute Healthcare Identity

Knowing who your patient is with a high degree of certainty has been a problem as long as healthcare has kept records. A more complete and accurate patient medical record delivered to the point of care would result in: fewer diagnostic and treatment errors; improved care coordination across facilities and healthcare providers; and a reduced number of re-admits.  The latest CDC study reveals that each year preventable adverse events (PAEs) lead to the death of 210,000-400,000 patients who seek care at a hospital. According to Fierce Healthcare news, hospital medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The 2013 Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange ( Wedi ) Report recommends the following actions to address concerns over PAEs, Standardize the patient identification process across the healthcare system. Identify and promote effective and actionable electronic approaches to patient information capture, maintenance and dissemination that leverage mobile devices and "smart" technologies and applications. Identify and promote methods and standards for healthcare information exchange that would enhance care coordination. Another area of concern that is impacted by absolute patient identity is provider/patient fraud. Not all patient fraud can be eliminated but verifiable patient ID would reduce: filing of claims for services or medications not received; use of a false coverage or insurance card; providers adding charges for procedures or services that did not take place and patient “doctor shopping” or traveling from doctor to doctor for the purpose of obtaining more prescription drugs than they are entitled to. The FBI reports that healthcare fraud of 3% cost US $80B per year. A 2014 Aberdeen Research Report found that faster detection of fraud or potential fraud correlates with a lower total cost of fraud for the companies [...]

By | 2017-07-29T02:33:46+00:00 Tuesday, March 1, 2016|Categories: Absolute Identity|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Medical Identity Theft Continues to Rise

The Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft which was published in February by the Ponemon Institute states that from 2013 to 2014, medical identity theft incidents increased 21.7 percent. The key points identified in this study are: • Medical identity theft is costly to consumers. Unlike credit card fraud, patients can he held responsible for the fraudulent debt. The average cost to the patient to resolve the false claim in 2014 was over $13,000. • Medical identity theft is a complicated crime to resolve. Generally no one ever informs the victim that a fraudulent claim has taken place. It can be found months after the fact and is very hard to track down and know who to call to help you resolve the issue. • Resolution of medical identity theft is time consuming to resolve. The Ponemon Study found that only 10% of cases were ever completely resolves. This can lead to inaccurate medical records and harmful effects down the road. • Medical identity theft can have a negative impact on reputation. 45% of respondents said the medical fraud caused them personal or professional harm due to embarrassing personal data (often inaccurate) being revealed. 3% stated they lost their job over the fraud. • Consumers expect healthcare providers to be proactive in preventing and detecting medical identity theft. 79% Consumers said that keeping their health records safe was important to them and 40% said they would change healthcare institutions of a data breach occurred. Although Medical Identity theft cannot be completely prevented, both patients and healthcare facilities can and should take steps to prevent fraud from happening. Patients should make sure that friends and family do not have access to their insurance documents. They [...]

Stage 3 of Meaningful Use and Patient Identity

Public comments are currently being accepted to the new requirements for Stage 3 of ACA Meaningful Use proposed rule until May 29th, 2015. Stage 3 is meant serve as the platform for the program over the long term. Among the goals is to provide a flexible, clearer framework that simplifies the MU program to reduce the complexity created by multiple stage requirements and to reduce provider burden, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the program. Of the eight proposed objectives in Stage 3, the first four objectives are “legacy” objectives from Stage 1 and 2. Protect Patient Health Information Electronic Prescribing Clinical Decision Support Computerized Provider Order Entry The four remaining objectives represent some differences in the proposed rule in Stage 3. Patient Electronic Access to Health Information Coordination of Care through Patient Engagement Health Information Exchange Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting Several of these objectives relate directly to patient identity. Without absolute patient identity, how are you going to know you are really protecting the right data for the right patient? Without absolute patient identity how can you guarantee that you are giving a patient electronic access to the correct patient record? Without absolute patient identity how do you know that in a Health Information Exchange that the patient at one medical facility is truly the same patient at another medical facility? And if the medical records of a patient are combined from multiple facilities to give a combined patient overview, how can you guarantee that information from multiple patients with similar names have not been combined together if you do not have absolute patient identity? To me, it looks like absolute patient identity is the backbone of the Meaningful Use 3 [...]

Privasent Roll Out at Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

SALT LAKE CITY and NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – November 3, 2014 Malta Systems, a healthcare technology company focused on unique, absolute, and interoperable healthcare identity, announced today that Saint Peter’s Healthcare System began enrolling patients in Privasent™ and issuing Privasent smart cards to their patients last month. These first locations — with plans to expand to the entire healthcare system — average 50 patient enrollments per day as Saint Peter’s begins its use of Privasent and its patient health identity solution. Saint Peter’s piloted the technology in 2013 and demonstrated that Privasent’s unique and absolute identity eliminated identity errors, ensured accurate matching of EHRs and was embraced by its patients as a means to protect their privacy and health identity. Privasent’s patent-pending solution combines smart card, biometric and security technologies to produce a unique, absolute and interoperable identity that can scale to a national patient identifier. This unique identity can only be used to access healthcare services thus protecting the patient’s privacy and identity integrity. Patients are registered in the Privasent network with the issuance of a Privasent card and the capture of a palm-vein pattern. Each time a patient checks in for care, Privasent validates their identity and the electronic health record (EHR) associated with the identity. Caregivers can search Privasent to identify other EHRs associated with this identity throughout Privasent’s network of providers and determine which must be accessed to provide relevant medical history for the patient’s care. CEO of Malta Systems, Don Brown is pleased with the roll out of the Privasent solution at Saint Peter’s. “Saint Peter’s is an excellent partner for us and we are actively preparing for the expansion of Privasent throughout the Saint Peter’s system,” Brown said. “By [...]

By | 2015-05-14T15:57:50+00:00 Monday, November 3, 2014|Categories: Absolute Identity|0 Comments

4 Reasons Why Smart Cards and Biometrics Make a Great Team

Smart cards have been used for patient access for a number of years around the world, but adding a biometric component to the card is a new twist. Adding the biometric increases the level of security associated with the card. The winning combination has begun to produce measurable financial benefits for healthcare institutions. 1.  Smart card with biometrics and Meaningful Use: Measure 1) Eligible hospitals that transition their patients to another setting of care or provider of care and refers their patient to another provider of care provides a summary care record for each transition of care or referral. Measure 2) More than 10% of these summaries a) electronically submitted or b) via an exchange facilitated by an organization that is NwHIN exchange participant or in a manner that is consistent with the governance mechanism ONC establishes for the nationwide health information exchange. Measure 3) Conducts one or more successful electronic exchanges of summary of care document. Without precise patient identity standards, the exchange of these records can be compromised. Smart cards/with biometrics ensures a unique and absolute identity and that the patient’s identity is precisely the same wherever the patient receives care. This unique identity is the foundation for record exchange and eliminates the patient safety and financial risk of providers basing clinical decisions on the wrong patient record or patient records that have been incorrectly merged. It should be noted that the present demographic based patient identification techniques for health information exchange have a 5% error rate. I don’t think any patient wants to be included in that 5%. 2.  Smart cards with Biometrics eliminates duplicate records. Once implemented, every patient is issued a unique identity that is contained in the combination of [...]

Nine Reasons Healthcare CFOs Should Love Smart Cards

Healthcare CFOs have a lot to worry about these days. They need to balance both rising healthcare cost and rising technology costs.  The challenge is not only to secure the funding for new technology, but also to weigh the potential benefits of new and emerging technology against the costs. Serious consideration must be given to the consequences of technology adoption for legacy systems, life-cycle costs, and long-term technology evolution. Over the past few years, smart card use in the healthcare sector worldwide has grown significantly. Current programs focus on patient identification: streamlining admissions, managing payments, and moving patient data from point to point. Smart cards are portable, secure, and can be leveraged to create closer patient alignments, generate higher patient satisfaction levels, and increase revenue for the healthcare issuer. Smart card technology is a reliable and proven solution that has had decades of use in other industries and is now making its mark on healthcare. Here are nine reasons for healthcare CFOs to love smart cards. Smart cards: Reduce cost. Improve patient identification and workflow. Reduce claims denials and increase revenue capture. Provide authenticated and authorized access to healthcare information. Assist with compliance to HIPAA privacy and security requirements. Improve facility and network security. Provide immediate access to life-saving information. Improve patient and physician satisfaction. Provide support for a national health information network. The Smart card alliance documented the benefits of Smart cards in 2009, yet hospitals across the nation have been slow to embrace the technology. Smart cards linked with biometrics could provide security and cost savings across the healthcare environment.  You can download the entire Smart card Alliance white paper here. To find out more about using smart cards with biometrics check out [...]

5 Reasons Smart Cards are Good for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations worldwide are implementing smart health cards supporting a wide variety of features and applications. Smart health cards can improve the security and privacy of patient information, provide the secure carrier for portable medical records, reduce healthcare fraud, support new processes for portable medical records, provide secure access to emergency medical information, enable compliance with government initiatives and mandates, and provide the platform to implement other applications as needed by the healthcare organization. Here are five ways that smart cards can support healthcare Effective healthcare Identity management. Smart cards have been successfully used across the globe for effective patient identification in healthcare settings. Smart cards have been proven safer than magnetic strip cards because they are harder to duplicate, therefore more secure, and can hold more patient information. Supporting privacy and security requirements mandated by HIPAA. Federal standards are in place for identity verification and data access and security which use smart cards (the FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standard for Federal employee and contractor identification cards). Providing the secure carrier for portable medical records. Smart card technology can help institutions manage a qualified EHR by integrating information from other external sources. Reducing healthcare fraud. Smart cards combined with biometrics can prevent healthcare fraud by requiring absolute identification at each healthcare encounter and providing a record of each time a patient has checked in for care. These verifications authenticate that the patient was present and received care eliminating the possibility of identity theft coupled with fraudulent billings. Providing secure access to emergency medical information. Smart cards can be programmed to carry medical information which can be vital in emergency situations such as prescriptions, allergies and health conditions. Read more about smart cards and healthcare [...]