What We’re Reading – Medical identity theft is a growing problem

Nothing seems to be off limits these days. Not only are people stealing identities for financial gain, but also for medical purposes.  In this article, Jim Koenig, director & leader of PwC’s identity theft practice said, “Medical identity theft is still a small percentage of the total amount of identity theft that occurs, but it’s the fastest-growing segment.” 

The article explains that there are two types of victims:  the willing and the unwilling.  The willing are considered victims of “Robin Hood crimes”, meaning they lend their friends/families their identities.  The unwilling victims are found to be health care insiders: employees working for the health care providers.  Being the willing or unwilling victim of medical identity theft can be dangerous for the patient because incorrect information has been added to his/her medical records.  This type of fraud is also costly for the provider if the insurance company recoups reimbursement for a visit that resulted from identity theft.  A simple way to prevent medical identity theft is to request photo identification from the patient and keeping a copy in the record.  Another easy fix for medical identity theft involves asking the patient questions that only he or she would know.  Incorrect or unusually slow answers to simple questions could be a red flag for medical identity theft. Check out the rest of the article for more tips to stop this type of healthcare fraud.

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