Medical Identity Theft a Growing Problem

Medical Identity Theft a Growing Problem

By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPageToday
Published: September 23, 2011
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WASHINGTON — Nearly four out of ten doctors and hospitals surveyed have caught a patient trying to use someone else’s identity in order to obtain healthcare services, according to a new survey from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Patients seeking medical services under someone else’s name was the second most common privacy or security issue reported by healthcare providers, according toPwC’s nationwide survey of 600 executives from U.S. hospitals, doctors’ organizations, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and life sciences companies.

Medical identify theft is the fastest-growing form of identity theft, affecting 1.42 million Americans in 2010 and costing more than $28 billion, the report said.

When I was practicing medicine in the ER, this was a daily occurrence.  In fact, the problem led to the formation of our company, and the launch of our service offerings when I found that the medical identity theft issue was part of a larger problem related to lack of security for Protected Health Information.


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