April 2, 2018
Good News – Good News – Good News!
This weekend’s DMF update was approximately 1 million records! With dates of death ranging from 1919 to 2019, with the majority of death dates ranging from 1938 to 1976. Next weekend, the SSA/NTIS should release an additional 2 million previously unreported records.
The new records, combined with our Obit360 database of obituaries (updated daily) and the data from state a vital records organizations and other sources, will help us help you and meaningfully fill the gap of missing deaths.
What Changed for Death Audits?
The SSA (Social Security Administration) and the NTIS (National Technical Information Service) have been actively engaged in an initiative to improve the quality of available death data following several investigations where funds have been under and overpaid. As part of this initiative, we’ve learned that in FY2018 the SSA will be adding over 8 million death records to the full and Limited Death Master File (LDMF)!
So – what does this mean for our industry and our customers? Glad you asked!
Sharing the new death records will increase the accuracy, integrity and the completeness of the SSA records and to the Death Master File (DMF). Many leaders in our industry have been pushing for increased death reporting because it encourages accurate and complete files and reduces the risk of fiduciary impropriety.
More Deaths Reported Mean More Deaths Found
We’ve been reporting on many of these improprieties, and are more than willing to discuss how our proprietary system reduces these risks. Our team is regularly searching for new ways to reach more customers and increase the chances of allocating funds as necessary, whether it’s locating a pension fund beneficiary or verifying that someone is who they say they are and that they’re receiving only the monies allotted. In 2017 alone, we added 2.8M obituary records and 1.3M records to the Limited DMF.
We’re looking forward to seeing the new records on the DMF and will keep our customers apprised of the ongoing efforts of the SSA and NTIS.
Thank you to both of these organizations – SSA and NTIS – for your due diligence and effort in this initiative. By increasing the death count, our customers will have more accurate accounting. Our team will continue to assist our customers in their efforts to detect, correct and prevent fraud, waste and abuse to encourage compliance (FWAC) with federal and state rules and regulations.
If you have questions about how this initiative affects your death audits, let our team clear the smoke! We’re available online or via telephone at 888-LIFE-360, or feel free to reach out on our social media handles and start the conversation. We know the power of death audits and how these key compliance tools can make or break a company (need examples? Just ask us!).