Navigation Links
Medical identity theft: the importance of protecting your health records
Date:10/9/2007

Many consumers take precautions against identity theft, but what about medical identity theft? In addition to financial peril, victims can suffer physical danger if false entries in medical records lead to the wrong treatment.

The crime occurs when someone uses a person's name and sometimes other parts of their identity -- such as insurance information -- without the person's knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods, said Laurinda B. Harman, PhD, RHIA, associate professor and chair of the health information management department at Temple Universitys College of Health Professions.

A person's identity information can also be used to make false claims for medical services or goods. This is not a common event, but patients need to be aware of it, Harman said. She will discuss the growing concerns of medical identity theft as more medical facilities move to electronic records during the 79th Annual American Health Information Management Association Convention Exhibit on October 9 in Philadelphia.

The World Privacy Forum, a non profit, non partisan research group, said it has received 20,000 reports of medical identity theft in the past 15 years.

Medical identity theft frequently results in erroneous entries being put into existing medical records, and can involve the creation of fictitious medical records in the victim's name at various medical facilities. This trail of falsified information in medical records can plague victims' medical and financial lives for years.

In Pennsylvania, two men were convicted of health insurance fraud, theft by deception, identity theft and forgery in 2006. Galen Baker stole a coworker's identification to obtain nearly 40 individual prescriptions for Viagra, a drug typically prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction. Daniel Sullivan stole a man's medical identification to pay for more than $140,000 in hospital charges. In other cases, health care employees stole medical records to sell to third parties or file false claims.

The entire health care system needs to be careful in its hiring. Ethical principals need to be taught and enforced for all employees, Harman said.

As more patients begin maintain their own personal health record, they will become more aware of the fraud, she said.

Harman suggests the following tips from the World Privacy Forum to prevent theft, these include:

  • Review all Explanation of Benefits notices and any other correspondence from insurance providers describing the services that have been received, the provider charges and payment allowances. Report suspicious transactions to your health insurer's special investigations unit.
  • Request a complete list of annual payments your insurance company has made for medical care. Sometimes, thieves change billing address and phone number, which means a patient may not see all of the bills.
  • Get a copy of medical records, in case they're tampered with in the future.
  • Keep track of medical and prescription benefits cards and keep them in a safe place.

Harman, a health information management professional for over 35 years, said those in her field take the issue very seriously.

We need to take the role as the patient advocate. We need to help them protect their patient information and privacy. There arent the same protections in place for medical identify theft as financial identify theft, she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Renee Cree
renee.cree@temple.edu
215-707-1583
Temple University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Check if your “Favourite medical web-site” is indulging in Quackey
2. Teens turning to Internet for medical queries
3. Robots craft medical history
4. NBE to conduct test for medical students from abroad
5. Air pollution combined with greater medical needs
6. Indian Nationals with Foreign Medical Degrees can now practice in India
7. Children! Protecting them from medical mistakes
8. More information sought by patients on medical errors
9. SARS necessitates medical masks
10. Meditation Works Medically
11. Sleep Disorders Could Indicate Other Medical Problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... that offers insurance and financial preparation services, is providing an update on a ... organization. , Rock City Rescue is a locally recognized nonprofit that provides shelter ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association ... standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of ... 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which ... evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , ... and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story ... the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation ... has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, ... 2017 earnings conference call and webcast on Friday, November ... a.m. (EDT) and ending at approximately 8:30 a.m. (CDT) ... discussing the company,s 2017 financial performance and guidance for ... opportunities, initiatives to enhance operational performance, and long-range financial ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. ... The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show ... The segment ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today that ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Biologics ... treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ... needed to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab in ... "We are disappointed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: