Criminals know there are dollars in data and that monetizing medical records is a lucrative pastime. This trend could foreshadow the next evolution of medical identity fraud. Cyber criminals could sell medical identities to uninsured or underinsured individuals, peddle pharmaceuticals online, obtain and resell expensive medical equipment, or simply file insurance claims by matching up stolen patient and provider identities. A recent report by Accenture Consulting found that 35 percent of victims reporting medical identity fraud had their identities used for fraudulent billing and 26 percent, for fraudulent services. Ponemon Institute’s earlier study found that 59 percent of victims’ medical […]

Pennsylvania residents are receiving phone calls from people asking them to switch their health insurance from their current carrier to the “Pennsylvania Department of Health’s plan.” It’s a scam. The state health department and the Erie County Department of Health provide medical services to uninsured or underinsured Pennsylvanians, but they do not provide insurance. It appears scammers are trying to get valuable medical information, including your Social Security number, health insurance account numbers or even details about your health. It’s called medical identity theft. Criminals can use this information to schedule office visits, order prescription drugs or even file health […]

The state of Florida has released a resource guide to help residents prevent identity theft. The guide offers information about the many forms of identity theft, ways consumers can further protect private information and steps to take if identity theft occurs, officials said. Identity theft occurs when someone uses or attempts to use the private personal information of another person to commit fraud, typically for economic gain. Tax identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission for the past five years, state officials said. However, there are other ways scammers can […]

Study also finds that half of these victims were subject to medical identity theft and on average had to pay $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per incident. Twenty-six percent of U.S. consumers have had their personal medical information stolen from healthcare information systems, according to results of a new study from Accenture released at HIMSS17 in Orlando. Among those who experienced a breach, 50 percent were victims of medical identity theft, the survey found. Most often, the stolen identity was used to purchase items (cited by 37 percent of data-breached respondents) or used for fraudulent activities, such as billing for care […]

As medical identity theft continues to rise, so does its impact on the healthcare industry and patients. Prevention is possible with the right health IT solutions. In 2014, nearly 9 million patient health records were breached in 164 reported incidents. By March 2015, that number had increased tenfold. In fact, it is estimated that one in three health records were compromised during 2016 alone.1 Records can be physically stolen from medical facilities, so it is important to prevent data acquisition in this manner. But with the prevalence of health IT systems in place, cybersecurity—not just on the backend, but with […]

Criminals are stealing health records to obtain prescriptions or treatment in victims’ names. WHEN PAULA KOTZEN learned at her doctor’s office that hacker s had at tacked medical records in Marin County, it was like déjà vu. “This would probably be the third kind of privacy breach I’ve experienced this year,” says the retired small business owner, who lives in Marin’s Santa Venetia neighborhood. In prior incidents, Kotzen has received notices that her debit or credit card numbers were stolen by hackers. Strangers have used her credit card numbers to make purchases. But last summer’s attack — in which hackers […]

A specific type of identity theft is on the rise: medical identity theft. But, what is medical identity theft, and how does it differ from a classic case of identity theft? Medical identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information in order to obtain medical care, buy drugs or submit fake billings to Medicare in your name, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Unlike financial identity theft — which occurs when someone illegally uses your personal financial information to empty your bank account or rack up charges on credit cards taken out in your name […]

It can rob a patient’s health and jeopardize a provider’s good-standing, too. Identity theft is a hot topic in the field of medical fraud. According to research on privacy, data protection, and information security policy conducted by Ponemon Institute, more than 2.3 million people have been victims of medical identity fraud. This trend is on the rise, with nearly a 22 percent increase in 2015 over the previous year’s estimate. That’s approximately 500,000 new cases of fraud in one year. This year, the Ponemon Institute estimates that data breaches will cost the healthcare industry $6.2 billion. Defining Medical Identity Theft […]

Experian Data Breach Resolution releases its fourth annual Data Breach Industry Forecast with five key predictions. COSTA MESA, Calif., Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — While many companies have data breach preparedness on their radar, it takes constant vigilance to stay ahead of emerging threats and increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals. To learn more about what risks may lie ahead, Experian Data Breach Resolution releases its fourth annual Data Breach Industry Forecast white paper. The industry predictions in the report are rooted in Experian’s history helping companies navigate more than 17,000 breaches over the last decade and almost 4,000 breaches in 2016 alone. […]

The Social Security number is overused and abused by hospitals, banks, and even retailers, putting millions of Americans at risk of identity theft. But experts say it doesn’t have to be this way. Social Security numbers may be the worst kept secrets in America. But the originators of the individualized codes first distributed in 1936 by the Social Security Administration never intended them to become de facto identifiers relied on by hospitals, insurers, banks, cable companies, and even retailers. “Unfortunately, it’s becoming so ubiquitous, and so many businesses are being breached, that it’s the skeleton key to your life,” says […]