State Considering High-Tech Cameras To Curb In-Home Care Fraud
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) administration is considering purchasing sophisticated new camera equipment to photograph, fingerprint and transfer data on Californians who receive care through the In-Home Supportive Services program, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
Social Service Department officials say legislation scheduled to take effect on April 1 authorizes them to collect such information as part of IHSS fraud prevention efforts.
The firm MorphoTrak manufactures the "mobile biometric identification" devices, which each cost about $5,000. Sacramento and San Diego counties have agreed to test out devices on loan from the company.
Lizelda Lopez, spokesperson for the Department of Social Services, said the devices are durable and compatible with government data systems. She added that the department would purchase the tools using funds already set aside for cracking down on fraud.
Officials say the state also is considering devices made by other vendors.
Pushback on Proposal
Disabled-rights groups have expressed opposition to the purchase of the devices, arguing that the state would need to spend about $5 million to purchase all of the necessary equipment. They also contend that the new legislation authorizes fingerprinting but not photographs.
Some lawmakers also have taken issue with the $5,000 price tag for the new devices (Ferriss, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 3/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.