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PhilHealth to add biometric fingerprint scanning to end health insurance fraud


The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) plans to adopt a smartphone-based biometric fingerprint scanning system in health facilities in the next year to end fraudulent transactions and safeguard hospital integrity, writes Manila Bulletin.

“The agency is currently working on a ‘proof of concept’ together with technology providers for ‘liveness check’ and ‘identity authentication’ solutions that will be rolled out in all its offices and participating health facilities in the year 2020,” said PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Morales.

The system will not only come equipped with fingerprint sensors, but it will also use facial recognition technology to detect facial structures, eyes and facial contours for liveness detection.

“Liveness check will help us validate if the member or a dependent is still alive or has expired during confinement, while identity authentication should help us verify if they are who they claim to be,” said Morales. “These technologies help ensure that only those claims of living members or patients are paid by PhilHealth.”

The goal to automate the processing system to reduce fraud was first announced in July 2019.

“If you go to other countries, you file for a license, you don’t see anybody–you do it online. Hopefully, we can adopt that system,” Morales concluded. “We want to use the biometrics system in order to be sure that we will only be dealing with our members.”

To prevent healthcare insurance fraud through “ghost admissions,” India introduced in September 2019 mandatory biometric verification for patient admissions and discharge processes.

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