HHS doesn’t have a clear strategy for combating medical identity theft, a Senate HELP Committee staffer said Feb. 1.

The Department of Health and Human Services explained its efforts to combat medical identity theft in a Jan. 20 letter to the Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

The letter was in response to a request by Senate HELP Committee and Finance Committee leaders in November for information about how the federal government is working to curb the rise in medical identity theft.

Members of the Senate HELP Committee who aren’t satisfied with the HHS’s plan for helping victims of medical identity theft are mulling ways to improve federal fraud-fighting efforts.

The issue could reignite debate over a provision in the Affordable Care Act that capped health-care organizations’ spending on fraud prevention, an official with a national nonprofit that works to reduce medical identity theft told Bloomberg BNA Feb. 2.

“The government has a role to play in incentivizing private industry to do the right things,” Ann Patterson, senior vice president and program director for the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, said.

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February 3, 2016 By Alex Ruoff, Bloomberg BNA