HHS Moving Toward Fingerprint ChecksNew Initiative Is Part of Fraud Crackdown
To help prevent fraud, the Department of Heath and Human Services is taking a preliminary step toward fingerprint-based criminal background checks for the owners of certain organizations seeking to serve Medicare patients.
In a request for information from vendors, HHS describes the potential use of fingerprint-based background checks as part of its National Fraud Prevention Program. The fingerprint-based background checks would be for initial screenings of owners of durable medical equipment companies, prosthetics/orthotics and supplies companies and home health agencies that apply for participation in the Medicare program. The checks would also apply to those seeking to rejoin the program after a moratorium.
The request for information, which poses a dozen questions that must be answered by April 30, is a preliminary step before soliciting bids. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing to hire a contractor to manage 50,000 fingerprint-based checks annually for four to five years. The contract will be awarded between December 2012 and February 2013.