Friday, January 03, 2014

RMA Done Good?

From a post on "best practices", one of which was an RMA initiative:
To counter fraud, waste, and abuse, the Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 mandated the use of a data warehouse and data mining technologies to improve crop insurance program compliance and integrity. RMA asked the Center for Agriculture Excellence (CAE) at Tarleton State University to create a system to monitor and analyze the program, identifying fraud using satellite, weather, and remotely sensed data to analyze claims filed by farmers for anomalous behavior that could indicate fraudulent or other improper payments. CAE is at the leading edge of application of remote sensing to agricultural insurance.
The RMA program has had several significant impacts, including:
  • Identification of anomalous claims, plus monitoring as a preventive measure
  • Linking claims histories with weather data
  • Integration of the latest MODIS and Landsat satellite data into the data mining process
  • Automated claims analysis
The results: cost avoidance of over $1.5 billion (2001–2007) scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Estimated reductions from prior year indemnities represent more than a $23 return for every dollar spent by RMA on data mining since its inception.
One initiative produced a list of producers who were subjected to increased compliance oversight; from 2001 to 2011, this reduced unneeded indemnity payments by approximately $838 million.

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