Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Medical identity theft: the importance of protecting your health records

10.10.2007
Many consumers take precautions against identity theft, but what about medical identity theft? In addition to financial peril, victims can suffer physical danger if false entries in medical records lead to the wrong treatment.

“The crime occurs when someone uses a person's name and sometimes other parts of their identity -- such as insurance information -- without the person's knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods,” said Laurinda B. Harman, PhD, RHIA, associate professor and chair of the health information management department at Temple University’s College of Health Professions.

“A person's identity information can also be used to make false claims for medical services or goods. This is not a common event, but patients need to be aware of it,” Harman said. She will discuss the growing concerns of medical identity theft as more medical facilities move to electronic records during the 79th Annual American Health Information Management Association Convention Exhibit on October 9 in Philadelphia.

The World Privacy Forum, a non profit, non partisan research group, said it has received 20,000 reports of medical identity theft in the past 15 years.

Medical identity theft frequently results in erroneous entries being put into existing medical records, and can involve the creation of fictitious medical records in the victim's name at various medical facilities. This trail of falsified information in medical records can plague victims' medical and financial lives for years.

In Pennsylvania, two men were convicted of health insurance fraud, theft by deception, identity theft and forgery in 2006. Galen Baker stole a coworker's identification to obtain nearly 40 individual prescriptions for Viagra, a drug typically prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction. Daniel Sullivan stole a man's medical identification to pay for more than $140,000 in hospital charges. In other cases, health care employees stole medical records to sell to third parties or file false claims.

The entire health care system needs to be careful in its hiring. Ethical principals need to be taught and enforced for all employees, Harman said.

“As more patients begin maintain their own personal health record, they will become more aware of the fraud,” she said.

Harman suggests the following tips from the World Privacy Forum to prevent theft, these include:

Review all “Explanation of Benefits” notices and any other correspondence from insurance providers describing the services that have been received, the provider charges and payment allowances. Report suspicious transactions to your health insurer's special investigations unit.

Request a complete list of annual payments your insurance company has made for medical care. Sometimes, thieves change billing address and phone number, which means a patient may not see all of the bills.

Get a copy of medical records, in case they're tampered with in the future.
Keep track of medical and prescription benefits cards and keep them in a safe place.

Harman, a health information management professional for over 35 years, said those in her field take the issue very seriously.

“We need to take the role as the patient advocate. We need to help them protect their patient information and privacy. There aren’t the same protections in place for medical identify theft as financial identify theft,” she said.

Renee Cree | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.temple.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University

nachricht Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
28.03.2017 | Graphene Flagship

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>