Tips on Detecting Medical ID Theft

FTC Offers Advice on Steps to Take
Tips on Detecting Medical ID Theft
The Federal Trade Commission has posted a report offering tips for dealing with suspected incidents of medical identity theft. The online document is designed to assist hospitals, physicians and insurers.

"Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's name or insurance information to get medical treatment, prescription drugs or surgery," the report says. "It also happens when dishonest people working in a medical setting use another person's information to submit false bills to insurance companies."

Organizations that suspect a patient may have been a victim of medical identity theft should promptly conduct a thorough investigation to, for example, confirm a patient never received services for which they received a bill or look for inconsistencies in a medical record, the report advises.

The report also advises healthcare organizations to:

  • Periodically review data security practices and HIPAA compliance efforts;
  • Properly notify federal and state authorities of any health information breach;
  • Inform patients of their rights under the HIPAA privacy rule, including the right to obtain copies of their records, have records amended and obtain an accounting of certain disclosures of information.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.




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