The number of patients affected by medical identity theft increased nearly 22 percent in just the last year.

The Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft ‒ released today by the Medical Identity Theft Alliance (MIFA) and conducted by the Ponemon Institute – estimates that of the 2.32 million Americans who have been victims of medical identity theft, almost 500,000 were in 2014 alone.

Since the survey was conducted in November of last year, the results did not include the recent Anthem breach ‒ the largest healthcare breach in U.S. history which could affect up to 80 million Americans.

The distinction between medical identity theft and other types of identity theft like consumer financial information or credit cards is important for many reasons.

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February 23, 2015 by Dan Munro, Forbes