OLYMPIA -- For the third time in the past six months, a medical assistance client in Washington State has alerted the Department of Social and Health Services to an apparent scam to obtain personal financial information in connection with a new plastic medical assistance ID card – called the Services Card – to be issued later this year.
There is no cost to clients for the new cards, which are similar to those used by private insurance plans. They will be issued automatically, and clients do not need to provide information to receive them. The new cards replace paper coupons that are now mailed to clients every month.
The Vancouver-area client who reported the apparent scam said she received a telephone call from a man who said he needed bank account information so the state could issue her new card. Medicaid and DSHS representatives stressed that no one from the state would ask for information in connection with the Services Cards.
The Services Cards will be mailed out to more than 1 million medical assistance clients just before DSHS switches to a new computer billing system called ProviderOne, which will assume the reimbursement of doctors, dentists, clinics, hospitals and nursing homes for medical assistance services when it goes on line. Clients will receive alerts with more information from DSHS before the new cards go into the mail.
The Services Card does not include personal health information and will not threaten clients’ privacy or security even if the card is lost or stolen. Like other insurance ID cards, it won’t have any value of its own.
Clients or providers with questions about the new Services Card can refer to a fact sheet that includes a set of Service Card Questions and Answers on the Medicaid ProviderOne Web site at http://hrsa.dshs.wa.gov/providerone/Clients.htm They also can contact Medicaid at 1-800-562-3022. Any client who receives a suspicious call related to the cards should report the call to their local police and DSHS fraud investigators at 1-800-562-6906 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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