May 25, 2012

Encouraging Innovation to Fight Medicaid Fraud

Julie Boughn

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to fighting Medicaid fraud, which diverts funds from needed medical care for the most vulnerable Americans.  That’s why we’re announcing a challenge – the Provider Screening Innovator Challenge – to develop software tools that will help stop fraudsters from entering the Medicaid program under the pretense of serving patients.

The Provider Screening Innovator Challenge encourages private sector competition to develop new software that can screen potential Medicaid providers and keep bad actors from ever getting into the program.  Through a series of contests over the next 8 to 9 months, expert software developers will work to create software products, and the best ideas will be awarded prize money.   A total of $600,000 is available for prizes, funded by the Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation, a program within the Office of Management and Budget.

The new software products will include enhanced screening data, such as the results of site visits, criminal background checks, and identity verification.  Fraudsters who try repeatedly to enter Medicaid by altering their applications with a slight change will also be blocked.  The software will also capture licensing information and financial data to spot and stop risky providers.

CMS is conducting this Challenge in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Harvard Business School, the State of Minnesota, and TopCoder (an online community of software engineers, computer scientists, and digital creators).

We eagerly await the ideas and products offered through the TopCoder community to help keep bad actors out of State Medicaid programs.  CMS will also be working with additional States to help us in finalizing software requirements as well as piloting the new software.

The first contest begins May 30th at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Registration information is available at the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation Challenge portal:

Further information about the Provider Screening Innovator Challenge is available at