One in five Americans says that they’ve been a victim of identity theft or attempted identity theft in the past year. Most of us are familiar by now with the steps to take if your identity has been compromised. The process is a hassle, but it typically takes just a few days and involves minimal financial losses, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The consequences for one form of identity theft can be much more severe, though. Cases where thieves steal your Social Security number and health insurance info to fraudulently obtain medical services or treatment can be much […]

Criminals are using health records to commit medical identity theft, a crime that causes even more suffering than financial identity theft. Think having credit cards or a mortgage opened in your name is a nightmare? Maybe, but it’s nothing compared to what victims of medical identity theft have suffered. Victims of this crime often suffer from financial fraud, just like those who have their credit cards compromised, says Ann Patterson, program director of the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance. Resolving medical identity fraud is much more difficult than cleaning up a case of financial ID theft. Whether you have just received […]

Buyers and sellers on the digital underground are trading healthcare records databases for as much as $200,000, according to a report from Intel Security. And that’s at a discount. Cybercriminals are selling databases of stolen medical records at a discount perhaps due to a glut of pilfered patient information available on underground web markets, according to a report from Intel Security. While the report, released Wednesday, underscores the demand for stolen medical records, it also shows how easy it is for criminals to obtain hacked patient information. Medical records, after all, provide digital thieves with a roadmap for stealing someone’s […]

2016 Healthcare Industry Wisdom on Medical Identity Fraud Healthcare Industry Wisdom on Medical Identity Fraud is a collection of expertise by anti-fraud experts to help businesses within the healthcare industry better understand how to deal with medical identity fraud. It offers various food-for-thought on what a healthcare organization or business associate might consider when building or fine-tuning their anti-fraud programs. Topics discussed in the paper include a look at the Medical Loss Ratio mandate and how it may be affecting health plans’ ability to invest more heavily in fraud prevention, health IT issues, and patient authentication. Key points include: 1. […]

Cell phone? Check. Credit Card? Check. Health Insurance Card…? Most people are sure to protect their cell phone and credit cards. You should have the same sense of urgency to guard your health insurance card. Medical identity theft is a complicated, costly crime that is difficult to resolve, can negatively affect your reputation and potentially harm your health. It can happen simply by someone borrowing or stealing your health insurance card and using your information to: Have health services performed and file for reimbursement Bill for health services that didn’t happen File claims for health services or drugs not received […]

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Action Line: As promised in last week’s column, we are back on the topic of medical identity theft and what you can do if you are an unfortunate victim of medical ID theft. (Click here to read Part 1, Can someone steal your medical identity?) Let’s start with consumers. Here are ways you would know if you are a victim: Did you get a bill for something you did not receive? Have you been contacted by a debt collector for a medical […]

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Can that really happen? A reader asks: With all the identity theft that we hear about, the data breaches from large companies and credit cards being compromised, what is being done to keep my medical information safe? I’m starting to hear stories of medical ID theft. I just heard one where a person stole another’s identity and actually had cosmetic surgery with someone else’s ID and insurance coverage. Can that really happen? Action Line: Unfortunately, any and all are susceptible to any […]

Patient identity mix-ups can be disastrous, according to both common sense and statistics. A new report by the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to improving patient care, revealed more than 7,600 cases of “wrong-patient” errors over a two-and-a-half-year period. In one instance, a patient died while undergoing cardiac arrest because the medical providers thought he had a do-not-resuscitate order. Another died after having the wrong surgery. The study focused on mistakes made by healthcare providers, but there’s another way you can be hurt by having the wrong information in your file: medical identity theft. And regulations intended to protect consumers […]

Senior citizens should be aware that scammers are using a false connection to Medicare to commit medical identity theft. Medical identity theft is different than regular identity theft in that someone uses your personal information to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs, or submit fake billings in your name instead of setting up false credit cards or withdrawing cash. While there are a number of scams related to medical care, Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries should be alert to a few common tactics criminals use when conducting a Medicare scam. One frequent method fraudster’s use is to pose as employees from […]

MIFA Strategic Partner launches Action Center to help reduce medical ID fraud for seniors. While the United States has made progress in moving towards a more modern healthcare system, significant work remains. There’s no disputing that our medical device and health technology companies are the most advanced on the planet, developing the solutions that are diagnosing diseases earlier, expanding treatment options, and improving quality of life. However, when it comes to healthcare and identity—making sure that the correct data is associated with the right patient, and ensuring that that information is able to be shared, analyzed, and acted upon in […]