Medical identity theft is a rising threat

In case you missed it, “Fortune” had a story this week about the flip side of security breaches — medical identity theft. It’s estimated to range from $80 to $230 billion each year and an estimated 90 percent of healthcare organizations surveyed said they’d had a data breach in the last two years.

Tara Courtland

Communications Director Tara Courtland

While some of those breaches are due to lost or stolen laptops or employee errors, it’s intentional criminal identify theft that presents the big problems.

Security experts say that criminal rings use stolen identities to order medical goods and services that are never delivered and then bill Medicare and Medicaid. It’s an extremely lucrative field – more so than other criminal activities traditionally pursued by crime rings.

So how do you keep tabs on your identity in healthcare? The same as you do in finance – order credit reports but also check up on your medical records when you visit your doctor to make sure there’s nothing you don’t recognize.

For healthcare companies, preventing medical identity theft goes along with preventing other types of security breaches. But it’s more than that. A new coalition, called the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, is helping develop guidelines to preventing medical identity theft. One of the key ideas is that security isn’t just the job of the IT Department or the HIPAA compliance officer — it needs to be ingrained in the culture of the organization, the job of every person in the company.

Click here to check out the full article in “Fortune” and see if your organization is ready to get on board.

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About Tara Courtland

Tara Courtland is the communications director at NEMT.
This entry was posted in HIPAA, News and stories and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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