Which industry suffers the most data breaches each year? Retail, maybe? Or banking and finance? In fact, for the past several years the answer has been the healthcare industry—and that has meant a dramatic rise in medical identity theft.

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2014 Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft, sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) and member companies including ID Experts, the number of medical identity theft incidents has more than doubled over the past five years. In 2014 alone there were 2.3 million victims—500,000 more than in 2013. And this was just for medical identity theft. Millions more have suffered from fraudulent billing against their medical identities from unscrupulous providers or even organized crime.

Consider what a hacker—or the person who buys the information—can do with stolen medical identities:

  • Pose as a care provider to bill Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance for fake services.
  • Obtain medical goods and procedures (prescription drugs, surgery, etc.).
  • Steal patients’ credit card and Social Security numbers from their billing information.
  • Pollute patient medical records with information that could kill them.

Medical identity theft is extremely expensive and burdensome for healthcare entities, and it can lead to contaminated medical records that undermine quality of care. For patients, the crimes are also costly and time-consuming to resolve, especially as many providers lack adequate measures to prevent, detect, and mitigate the crimes.

Click here to read the full blog.

June 15, 2015 by Christine Arevalo, ID Experts

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