State of Illinois identifies and tackles claims fraud with SAS® Analytics
In recent years, the Inspector General's Department of Healthcare and Family Services transformed its Medicaid program using SAS Analytics to identify overpayments and prevent further improper payments to health care providers.
Weishin Wang, Assistant Bureau Chief and Project Manager, says the agency needed a solution that would do more than just rely on exception-processing runs to compare providers to their peers. It wanted to use insights from existing integrity review audits to generate future fraud case referrals – discovering fraud at the transaction or patient level, as well as uncovering fraud perpetrated by members of criminal networks.
With this modeling approach, our accuracy is much, much higher ... We've also decreased the time to create a model from weeks to just a few hours. Weishin Wang Assistant Bureau Chief and Project Manager State of Illinois
Predictive models speed fraud detection
The SAS fraud platform uses historical data on previous fraud and abuse cases to develop well-honed fraud predictors. By utilizing the insights from known fraud cases, the system can spot provider collusion and identify undiscovered fraudulent providers and criminal networks – avoiding significant fraud-related financial losses each year.
"Previously when we suspected an individual or provider of fraud, we’d perform an assessment study to understand the case," explains Wang. "The process was lengthy and required significant human resources to identify the initial referral issue.
"Now we use SAS to orchestrate a provider risk score index table. We’re still finalizing our predictive model, but tests have shown it can successfully direct us to targeted providers. Furthermore, we now have customized, comprehensive routines with interrelated patient information to identify suspicious networking activities among providers."
"With SAS, we can identify fraudulent activity, such as time-dependable billing issues, non-corresponding medical claims and double billing, and decide whether to refer the cases to law enforcement agencies, terminate their status and potentially recoup the claim funds," continues Wang.
"Our approach looks at identified providers and variables to create a pre-modeling base of patterns. We then apply a model to the entire list of member providers to score and identify previously unknown cases of fraud. Even with cautionary patterns identified, we don't approach the provider until we model the social network aspects of an individual. By combining the score from each model, we have a stronger indication of fraudulent behavior to investigate."
State of Illinois – Facts & Figures
spent annually on Illinois Medicaid program
saved through fraud prevention
Improved efficiency "unbelievable"
Looking at data at a detailed level and finding interrelations through social networks is what Wang calls a dynamic networks association routine. This provides the proof that a provider is acting in a fraudulent manner.
"With this modeling approach, our accuracy is much, much higher. We've achieved a very prominent accuracy level and decreased the time to create a model from weeks to just a few hours," he says.
Wang says the agency chose SAS because of its ability to access, integrate and manage data from multiple sources, allowing the agency to run analytics against the data and then share that information instantly throughout the organization.
"Sometimes people can't believe what we find," he concludes. "SAS has a tremendous manipulation capacity, and it is unbelievably more efficient in generating and distributing reports than any tool I’ve ever used."