Recently the US Senate passed legislation, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, which would require US federal agencies to identify and reduce improper payments. Improper payments are defined as mistakes, waste, fraud, and abuse cumulatively costing the US tax payers $110 billion per year and growing. This is a staggering sum. Think about it – think of all of the things that we could fund either through government programs or back into our pockets. The financial incentive is there, but the challenge for the federal government is how to discover and prevent these improper payments.
To help identify ways to reduce these improper payments, the US government has set up a web site to collect ideas from the general public — http://www.paymentaccuracy.gov/
Below are my top 10 ideas to reduce improper payments through the utilization of data quality, MDM, and data integration tools:
- Identify fraudulent payments using identity matching tools
- Employ data consistency checks to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid payments meet documentation requirements
- Use data accuracy checks to ensure the correct payment amounts
- Use hierarchy management tools to relate individuals and organizations that are known to be committing fraud and other abuses
- Use duplicate detection to ensure that double payments are not made
- Use address validation and correction to ensure payments are delivered to correct locations
- Reduce Medicare Fee for Service errors due to insufficient documentation for specific procedures (completeness checks)
- Identify recipients that are no longer by integrating external data sources to aggregate household income and bank account totals
- Reduce billing errors in the Rental Housing Assistance Programs by ensuring correct billing information between third party program administrators and housing providers
- Reduce payouts on Earned Income Tax Credits by verifying accuracy of CPA licenses and completion of education certifications for tax preparers.
While these ideas won’t reduce the entire $110 billion of improper payments, maybe they can reduce improper payments by just 1% — that would save our government $1.1 billion. I’d say that’s a pretty good start.
What ideas do you have? Post them here and make sure you post them on www.paymentaccuracy.gov