‘Self-directed Care’ Provider Looks to Face Biometrics to Fight Fraud

“Rather than relying on healthcare professionals to take care of individuals afflicted by health issues in their homes, FreedomCare compensates relatives and friends who sign up to act as caregivers.”

'Self-directed Care' Provider Looks to Face Biometrics to Fight Fraud

A New York-based home healthcare company has announced a new mobile app that is designed to use facial recognition to make sure caregivers are working when and where they say they are.

The firm, FreedomCare, offers services for what’s known as “self-directed care”. Essentially, its program offers a different approach to home aide: Rather than relying on healthcare professionals to take care of individuals afflicted by health issues in their homes, FreedomCare compensates relatives and friends who sign up to act as caregivers. The idea is to put patients’ care in the hands of people they know and trust, and to pay the latter individuals for their time.

Naturally, there’s a serious fraud risk in a program such as this, and the attendant need for a means of making sure that caregivers are actually in the home during the times for which they’re billing. To that end, FreedomCare has commissioned the development of a mobile time and attendance app based on facial recognition.

In announcing the solution, the company hasn’t disclosed which firm, if any, it relied on for the app’s biometric technology, nor did it offer specific details concerning its accuracy. But FreedomCare’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Benjamin Wolf, asserted in the firm’s statement that the system “insists on a perfect match”, adding that “it recognizes if a photo is being used in place of a real person.”

FreedomCare says that major health insurance companies including Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, EmblemHealth, WellCare, Fidelis, and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield “have contracted with FreedomCare” concerning the app, suggesting that it could become a prominent anti-fraud tool in the wider healthcare market.

January 17, 2019 – by Alex Perala