Four vie for Texas Medicaid card

Biometric cards are expected to sweep the Medicaid program in Texas if pilot technology proves effective in combating fraud and streamlining the claims process.

The race is on to see which team will prevail in a four-way competition for a contract valued at $24 million to $26 million annually. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) launched the competition to create a common identification card for anyone receiving Medicaid services.

The four teams began competing for the contract in March, and the winner will be chosen in December. The four teams are led by Maximus Inc., Atos Origin SA, eMedicalFiles Inc. and EDS.

Each team is working on a different biometric solution for a different portion of the state, each of which consists of 300 providers and 60,000 Medicaid clients.

The EDS team, which is deploying biometric devices for providers in south Texas, includes Software Decisions Inc., Sagem Morpho Inc. and VeriFone Inc.

HHSC awarded a $1.7 million contract to International Biometric Group earlier this year to assess the effectiveness of each team's product. The firm will evaluate technology on the basis of the accuracy, security and usability of the finger-imaging and smart card components. The technology's ability to detect and deter fraud, and client acceptance of the technologies, will also figure into the firm's recommendation to HHSC.

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