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Mitigating Medical Identity Theft: AHIMA Journal Provides Patient Tools to Secure Health Information
Date:7/8/2008

tment as you, your medical record now includes their medical conditions. This means your future treatments will include erroneous information."

"Yes, medical identity theft is a growing problem for the healthcare profession and healthcare consumers; but this practice brief demonstrates health information managers and other healthcare professionals can work with patients to mitigate the impact of medical identity theft and, in some cases, even prevent its occurrence," said the Journal's editor-in-chief Kevin Heubusch.

Elizabeth Curtis, administrative director of medical information at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, also worked on the brief. "With the practical and detailed information patients can work to prevent and detect medical identity theft and help investigate and correct their corrupted records," Curtis said.

Medical identity theft represents 3 percent of all identity theft cases in America, according to a report by the Federal Trade Commission released late last year. However, that small percentage corresponds to almost a quarter of a million medical identity theft victims in a single year. Worse, the World Privacy Forum calls medical identity theft "one of the most difficult identity theft crimes to correct," according to the seven-page Journal practice brief.

The practice brief also illustrates the cascading effect of medical identity theft that often ends with "corrupted health records" that "lead to health risks for the victim of the medical identity theft." It goes on to discuss the nature of medical identity theft victims -- individuals as well as providers and plans -- and the impact of medical identity theft on society.

About AHIMA

The American Health Information Management Association is America's leading health information management professional society whose mission is to "improve healthcare by advancing best practices and standards for health information management." AHIMA serves a
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SOURCE American Health Information Management Association
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