Senate committees want to know how HHS and CMS are working to help victims of medical identity theft. In a Nov. 10 letter, the senators asked questions about issues such as how HHS and CMS supported victims, the effects of recent data breaches on Medicare and Medicaid and how the agencies track medical identify theft. Earlier this year the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee launched a bipartisan initiative looking at the security of health information technology. Click here to read the full article. Similar news: Lawmakers Seek Health Care Breach Answers, November 10, 2015 By Mary […]

“I just look at it like it would never happen to me,” said Richard Croce. But unfortunately for him, he couldn’t be more wrong. Croce’s medical identity nightmare started with a phone call. “I was contacted by an attorney,” he said. The question that followed rocked Croce into a tailspin. “He asked why I didn’t disclose to him that I was arrested and in police custody and brought to the hospital,” he recalled. According to medical records provided by Croce, he was taken to a medical center while “under police custody.” “I was shocked,” said Croce. Shocked, because although his […]

Scammers want your personal details and bank account information – but did you know that your medical records are also of interest to them? In fact, they’re positively sought-after, worth more than even your credit or debit card number! It’s only getting worse: examples of these scams and data breaches are increasing, with the Ponemon Institute‘s Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Patient Privacy and Data Security concluding that: “Criminal attacks on healthcare organizations are up 125 percent compared to five years ago… replacing lost laptops as the leading threat.” But why? And what can you do about it? They’re Worth […]

Scammers are looking to take advantage of your good name and identity. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your identity. If you get a call or email from someone claiming they are from Medicare, do not believe them. This Medicare scam involves someone calling or emailing each victim asking for their Medicare number to update their account as well as issue a new card, but the FTC says this is a scam. If you get a call or email from someone claiming to be from Medicare, contact the FTC to submit the email or phone […]

It’s a form of identity theft can impact a lot more than your bank account. It can also affect your health. Imagine getting a call that your prescription is ready, but you do not have one. That is a reality for victims of a rare but increasingly popular form of identity theft that targets your insurance and medical records. It is the stealing of someone’s insurance ID, which is a unique number to them, but from there it can take two forms. One type is receiving medical treatment or prescriptions using your information and insurance. Since it is your identity, […]

Medical identity theft and medical fraud are on the rise and you could be the main cause! In a February study by the Ponemon Institute – which conducts independent research on information security – 2.3 million adults had someone fraudulently using their personal health information for medical services in 2014. That’s up 21 percent from the year before. Think it can’t happen in East Alabama or West Georgia? A woman in the Atlanta area of Kennesaw fell victim. She did not want to go on camera. She did tell the Wall Street Journal someone used her social security number to […]

Health Care Providers and Plans Have a Mandate Protected health information (PHI) must be kept secure, yet the number of data breaches in the health care vertical is ever-increasing, as are the costs of dealing with the aftermath of losing a patient’s PHI. The recent Ponemon Institute survey on the cost of data breaches, commissioned by IBM, revealed the average cost per lost or stolen record is $363 within the health care sector. Are we approaching the era when one must perform due diligence on a health care provider’s security reputation and its ability to protect the information it collects? […]

Crooks stealing your identity and having major medical procedures, for free. You won’t believe how far one Wisconsin woman went pretending to be someone else. She had a liver transplant using a stolen identity. The woman bought someone else’s Social Security number on the black market for around $1,500. Our investigation into medical identity theft also revealed how criminals could be putting your life at risk. Amira Avendano-Hernandez assumed someone else’s identity and used that to get medical care from 2004 until 2011, including the liver transplant. She was sentenced to six months in prison for a federal crime and […]

Medical ID theft and medical fraud are crimes that can literally kill you! If a thief has your medical ID number, they can use it to get medical treatment, fill prescriptions, have surgery, lab work, etc. The result is the fact that your personal medical history has now become contaminated. If the thief’s medical information gets mixed in with your permanent medical file, doctors may not know the difference. When your medical information is stolen, you will get hit with the bills for services you never received. You will also be responsible for the co-pays as well. You will have […]

Senators ask why CMS has not yet removed Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Expert testimony before the Senate Committee on Aging last week outlined how identity theft can lead to multi-million dollar fraud schemes–and the preventive measures that can protect personal health information. The hearing targeted the longstanding issue of removing Social Security numbers on Medicare beneficiary cards. In April, President Obama signed a law prohibiting Social Security numbers from appearing on Medicare cards. Witnesses included representatives from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and […]