Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm) says it plans to introduce a biometric system as part of enhancing security of its clients’ database to deal with fraudsters who are benefiting from the society’ services.
A biometric system is a technological system that uses information about a person, or other biological organism such as fingerprints, to identify the individual. It relies on specific data about unique biological traits to work effectively.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Friday, Masm chief executive officer Sydney Chikoti said the society has this year recorded 20 fraud cases necessitating the introduction of the biometric system to curb the malpractice.
He said: “We are worried with the continued tendency of non-Masm members to benefit from our services. For example, since January to date, we have handled 20 claim cases of that nature.
“This is bad because it becomes expensive for the members and the society as well. At times, the society is forced to go back to the members to top up the charges.”
Chikoti said currently, the only security measures that Masm uses are clients’ national identity cards and the deployment of the society’s customer service officers in clinics to detect fraudsters.
However, Masm reports indicate that fraud is sometimes perpetuated by clients themselves who allow non-members to use their scheme details to access medical services.
Chikoti said: “It is for this reason that apart from other controls measures, we are bringing this new technology to tighten security because our aim is to ensure that Masm processes claims that are from its members only.”
Masm is the longest-serving medical aid service provider in the country. It offers various medical schemes ranging from Economy, Executive, VIP and Platinum.
Early this month, Masm announced that it had registered a K1 billion loss in the period between January and June 2018. To address the challenge, the medical aid scheme announced various measures, including increasing its service fees effective July 2018.