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Health Insurance card in Austria


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									20       into IT

                       Health Insurance card in Austria

               The electronic health insurance card (dubbed
               “e-card”) is an electronic ID for using medical
               services from health insurance in Austria; on
               the reverse side, it incorporates a printed
               image of the European Health Insurance form.
               As an additional feature, the e-card may be
               also used as a Citizen Card after a no-charge
               certification process.

               The Austrian Health Insurance
               As of January 2006, the e-card will replace
               the paper-based health-insurance voucher
               (“Krankenschein”) in Austria. The card holder’s
               personal data are both printed on the card and
               stored electronically.
               Upon presentation to an established doctor
               or a hospital, information on the insurance
               status of a patient is retrieved from the Central
               Association of Austrian Health Insurance Providers.
               A check performed whether the patient has
               insurance cover and with health insurance
               fund. This entitlement check performed when
               reading the e-card also serves as a control for
               the subsequent invoicing of medical services.
               The card holder data is stored and adminstered
               centrally in two parallel computing centres
               and made available online depending on the
               application and the access rights. Data is
               transmitted after encryption and signature; the
               signature is activated without a PIN code when
               the e-card is inserted in the card reader.

                   Bruno Walter and Johann Vilanek
                   Rechnungshof, Austrian Court of Audit

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The e-card system was designed as an online system and can be
expanded for future uses, such as for electronic prescriptions, or
patients’ electronic case histories.

European Health Insurance Card
The reverse side of the e-card shows a printed optical image of
the European Health Insurance Card. It replaces the existing paper
forms used to prove health insurance entitlement when travelling
within the European Union, the EEA, and Switzerland.

Citizen Card
Apart from replacing the health-care voucher, the e-card can also
be used in e-government as a Citizen Card with a safe electronic
signature. The certificate and the record linking identity data with
source PIN (“Personenbindung”) is installed on the e-card as part of
the required no-cost registration procedure.

Rollout of the e-card
The rollout of the e-card was started on 30 May 2005 and will
be completed by early December 2005. At that time, more than
8 million persons will have received an e-card and some 12,000
contracting partners (general practitioners, hospitals) will have been
equipped with the technical infrastructure for the e-card system.
The average number of entitlement checks per day is expected to
reach 300,000.

Audit of the e-card project by the Austrian
Court of Audit
In this project which had been launched in 1997, the Austrian Court
of Audit examined the legal framework, the awarding of contracts,
organisation and technical implementation. In particular, the Court
looked into the use of external consultants contracted for this type
of project. Its findings have been published in the activity reports
2004/4 and 2005/8.


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