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 […]

While the digitization of healthcare records has been well-intentioned, it has also created an unintended consequence: medical identity theft. In 2014, the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance found that incidences of medical identity theft had nearly doubled since a similar study was conducted five years prior. In light of this finding, it’s crucial that patients and providers learn more about this new phenomenon and how to protect themselves. Here are some ways to achieve that goal. Dectction – Secure technology solutions are the leading financial investments among healthcare providers to detect medical identity theft. Along with secure IT, providers should implement […]

Medical identity theft is a terrible crime, risking the health and lives of patients whose information has been stolen. And with ransomware and other threats to healthcare data, it’s a crime that will only continue to grow. But with the right information, you can fight back. Patients are a vulnerable population. Their health, even their lives, rest in the hands of healthcare providers. Equally vulnerable are patient’s health records. In today’s connected world, this data is strewn across the digital universe. From electronic health records (EHRs) to physician’s iPads to wearable health devices, a patient’s confidential medical information is available […]

With the first round of HIPPA Audits behind us, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) indicated back in March that it would finally launch the long-awaited round 2 of HIPAA audits in 2016. The Purpose of Audits Audits are done in order to further enforce regulations to ensure that practices are remaining fully compliant. HIPAA compliance is extremely important to enforce, due to the delicacy with which Protected Health Information (PHI) is needs to be handled. Therefore; the audits become a tool for maintaining privacy of such information, and ensuring that the right policies are put into place to continue […]

Accurately and proactively identifying patients in a provider’s office before healthcare services are performed significantly reduces the likelihood of phantom billing and medical identity theft – and the overwhelming financial implications of each. In response to a reporter’s question, notorious bank robber Willie Sutton was quoted as saying thieves rob banks “because that’s where the money is”. Today, the money is in a wide variety of areas beyond banks, including the enormous – and growing – healthcare business. The FBI estimates that healthcare fraud is an $80 billion annual challenge. With so much at stake, healthcare providers and insurance companies […]

BBB offers advice and best practices for managing your medical information. Identity theft affects millions of Americans every year, causing financial ruin and damaging credit histories that can take months or years to repair. Unfortunately, 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 […]

Healthcare Industry Fraud Experts Share Wisdom on Fighting Medical Identity Fraud Medical Identity Fraud Alliance Members Provide Subject Expertise to Help Healthcare Organizations Navigate and Understand Medical Identity Fraud Washington, DC, November 1, 2016 – The Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) released a paper based on the collective expertise of its members and partners, to help businesses within the healthcare industry better understand how to deal with medical identity fraud. Healthcare Industry Wisdom on Medical Identity Fraud offers various food-for-thought on what a healthcare organization or business associate might consider when building or fine-tuning their anti-fraud programs. The expertise shared […]