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Roskam, Blumenauer reintroduce bipartisan Medicare Common Access Card Act

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today Representatives Peter Roskam (IL-06) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) reintroduced the bipartisan Medicare Common Access Card (CAC) Act. This legislation would update current Medicare card technology in order to protect seniors and combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare System.

"Waste and fraud continue to drain precious Medicare dollars at a loss of over $60 billion annually," said Representative Roskam. "The CAC Act brings about much needed innovation to the Medicare system by making sure claims are verified using smart chip technology. By implementing this easy-to-use tool into Medicare we reduce fraud, save taxpayers billions of dollars and improve patient care," continued Roskam.

"Our seniors place a lot of trust in Medicare. As we see more and more hacks of sensitive information, we need to do everything we can to ensure the federal government protects the personal information and identity of seniors." said Representative Blumenauer. "This commonsense legislation will not only better protect Medicare beneficiaries against identity theft, but also the integrity of the Medicare program."

"The Medicare Common Access Card Act empowers the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to use best of breed technology to protect seniors' identity and verify Medicare transactions before they are paid, not after. This simple change could help process provider payments more quickly and save Medicare billions of dollars. It's a triple-win: for seniors, for Medicare providers and, most importantly, for the American taxpayer," said Kelli Emerick, Executive Director of the Secure ID Coalition.

Zebra Technologies, based in Lincolnshire, IL, supports using modernization to help protect our seniors. "Modernizing Medicare to increase cybersecurity and streamline payments benefits everyone - beneficiaries, providers and taxpayers. Zebra Technologies is excited to support Congressman Peter Roskam and Congressman Earl Blumenauer as they call for pilot programs to test secure card technology to protect seniors in an era of data breaches and identity theft," said Jim Kaput, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Zebra Technologies.

The Medicare Common Access Card Act would utilize the same type of technology the Department of Defense uses in identification cards issued to men and women in uniform to make Medicare cards more secure. The chip technology would keep personal information secure and would give Medicare beneficiaries assurances their billing is accurate when they visit their doctor.

The new cards would also combat waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare--which costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year--by addressing the flawed "pay and chase" system. Currently, the government pays Medicare reimbursements without first verifying the validity of the charges; if the charges prove to be fraudulent, the government must attempt to track down those responsible. The Medicare Common Access Card Act will help stop fraud before it happens by adding a layer of security to Medicare transactions by verifying the identity of patients and billing providers.

The Medicare Common Access Card Act was introduced by Reps. Roskam( R-IL), Blumenauer (D-OR), Shimkus (R-IL), Dingell (R-MI), Meehan (R-PA), Boyle (D-PA), Costello (R-PA), Connolly (D-VA), Buchanan (R-FL), and D. Davis (D-IL)

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