Preventing Medical Identity Theft

PUBLISHED: Oct 2, 2017
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Behavioral Health, Clinical Lab, Community Mental Health Centers, Critical Access Hospitals, Dialysis Facilities, Home Health, Hospice, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Medical Office, Pharmacy

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a new public service announcement video aimed at educating people about medical identity theft. According to OIG, medical identity theft is when someone steals or uses an individual’s personal information (such as name, Social Security number, or Medicare number) to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare and other health insurers without the individuals authorization.

Medical identity theft is a growing issue that can be very costly to patients, physicians and other providers. According to Federal Trade Commission data more than 3,300 physician and patient cases of medical identity theft were reported in 2014, with more than 8,000 cases reported between 2012 and 2014. Experts suspect those numbers are even greater today.

Health care providers can help mitigate the risks of medical identity theft by:

  • Educating and training employees
  • Monitoring billing and compliance processes
  • Controlling unique medical identifiers
  • Engaging patients in a conversation about medical identity theft

Included with today’s notice are example policies related to preventing medical identity theft.

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