Recently, a man went to the emergency department at his local hospital, complaining of back pain. The on-call physician noticed an infection in his lymph node, and, after consulting the patient’s chart, told the patient he was ordering a course of penicillin. By Helen Gregg, Becker’s Hospital Review. Published September 6, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

Pssst… want to buy some protected health information? Organized crime syndicates of hackers are stealing databases of medical or financial data and reselling them on the black market — complete with fake driver licenses — for up to $1,300 in tidy downloadable packages called “kitz.” Willing buyers can present themselves at hospitals or physician offices to get health services covered by the victim’s insurance plan. That’s one form medical identity theft presently is taking. By Don Fluckinger, SearchHealthIT. Published August 30, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

A new coalition, the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, this fall will begin its efforts to identify best practices for fraud prevention and to improve consumer awareness of medical ID theft and fraud. Click here to read the full article and learn more. By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, Healthcare Info Security. Published August 28, 2013

The newly-formed Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) is throwing its hat in the ring of organizations building healthcare anti-fraud best practices by connecting healthcare vendors, payers, healthcare providers and service providers to an information-sharing network. By Patrick Ouellette, HealthIT Security. Published August 28, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

Thieves broke into an office of the largest health system in Illinois last month and stole four unencrypted computers that contained personal information — including Social Security numbers and health insurance information — of 4.03 million patients. An administrative office of Advocate Medical Group was burglarized, according to the health care organization, and a criminal investigation is under way. By Kelly Jackson Higgins, Dark Reading. Published August 27, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

Six organizations have formed the new Medical Identity Fraud Alliance and seek other stakeholders to join them. Initial members include AARP, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Consumer Federation of America, ID Experts, Identity Theft Resource Center, and National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. The alliance’s mission is to offer leadership, education and awareness programs that drive development of best practices and technologies, as well as changes in regulations, to reduce the frequency and impact of medical identity theft. By Joseph Goedert, Health Data Management. Published August 23, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

MIFA, a A U.S. public-private alliance co-founded by Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, AARP, the Identity Theft Resource Center and others, will officially launch next month to fight medical identity theft amid a sickening spike in this form of fraud. By Kelly Jackson Higgins, Dark Reading. Published August 21, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

The Medical Identity Fraud Alliance is being formed to unite stakeholders to develop best practices, solutions, and technologies for the prevention, detection and remediation of medical identity theft and fraud. By David Raths, Healthcare Informatics. Posted on August 21, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.

Today, very few professionals or consumers are aware of medical identity theft and its' potential for harm. Policy decision-makers, organizations that hold Protected Health Information (PHI), law enforcement, regulatory agencies and consumer facing groups now have an opportunity and obligation to bring this serious societal problem to the forefront and work together to protect the public.

Data breaches have become increasingly more targeted and sophisticated, and caused by hacking and cyber criminals. Learn more about the vulnerability of medical records and what organizations can do. By Pamela Lewis Dolan amednews staff – Posted on July 29, 2013 Click here to read the full article and learn more.