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:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... System: an On-demand E-learning system for Clinical and Regulatory education for Physicians, ... based on Aerolib`s successful education methodology of Disease Specific Documentation Improvement. , ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... ... cold weather here, many people will have to clear snow with snow blowers or shovels ... but they can be dangerous when used incorrectly. That’s why Amica Insurance is ... of snow blowers:, , When removing wet snow or debris from ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... WhoHaha , a digital media company ... Heart Association (AHA) to produce a three-part video series that uses humor to highlight ... of the launch of AHA’s Healthy For Good™ movement, which is designed to inspire ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... in a medical capacity this year. Drs. Alexander Paziotopoulos, Andrew Petersen and Trish ... a condensed version of the clinic’s leading recovery program. , “We know ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... announced it recently provided a new $11,250,000 senior credit facility to Sunrise, Florida-based ... MB credit facility were used to facilitate a recapitalization of MedPro led by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 Avillion LLP, a ... of Mark Weinberg , MD MBA as Chief Medical Officer. ... USA . ... Dr Weinberg has spent more than 17 years as ... pharma companies to micro-cap biotech. Over the course of his career, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- The Global Therapy Partnering Terms and Agreements since ... and agreements entered into by the world,s leading healthcare ... deals by value - Deals listed by company A-Z, ... report provides understanding and access to the partnering deals ... companies. The report provides an analysis of partnering ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 This report ... current and future scenario of the global market. Large ... opioid consumption. Severe chronic constipation is a major side ... traditional laxatives. Hence, novel targeted therapy has been prescribed ... sufferers, launch of targeted medicines, and growing awareness about ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: