Western N.Y. payor and hospital team up to provide patient ID cards

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The Williamsville, N.Y.-based health insurer Independent Health and Erie County Medical Center, a public hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., are teaming up with Health Transaction Network to handle transactions for Medicaid, Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus patients.

The cards will have a traditional magnetic strip for routing payments and a microchip, which will hold biometric identification such as the person’s signature and fingerprints, according to Health Transaction Network of Buffalo, N.Y. The electronic health network also said it will install payment card readers at the hospital by end of 2007 that can read the magnetic strip, and also a microchip. 

Under the agreement, Independent Health will issue the identification cards to more than 26,000 current Medicaid members. The payor said it has also applied to the other two government programs, and expects to begin enrollment as early as November.