Medical identity theft rises with the healthcare system going online. If you are also a healthcare organization that is a part of the current competitive world and hence can gain a lot of advantage of the digital healthcare strategies over the traditional approaches, it is significant for you to also know of its dark side. For the knowledge of the same, you need to read the below article.
Reasons behind medical identity theft statistics
Since 2012, electronic records became widespread; there have been increasing cases of medical theft. Shannon Pettypiece, a senior White House reporter for NBC News Digital, states that there is a rise in medical identity theft by 22%. This number in itself is quite alarming and is a call for action regarding preventive measures for the same. The analysts have notified of security that such medical information is bought for a lot of cash by criminals.
Various ways of medical identity theft
Individuals fall into the trap due to several organizations committing healthcare identity fraud in insurance. They also allure them under the guise of free medical services, as accounted by Ponemon institute. They lose not only their personal data but also the money taken under the guise of official fees or pending bills under their name. Do you want to understand the seriousness of it? In around 19% of the cases, individuals lost the golden career opportunities because of fake data of a drug test being concrete. We are also warned about the persistence of medical or healthcare hacking by experts. There have also been incidents where the personal information of the consumers has been associated with an online payment gateway, a mortgaged object, or an order by a court.
Need to prevent medical identity theft
Unlike other fraud cases of banks, incidents of medical theft are complex. It takes a lot of time and money to resolve them. As a study found, it took 200 hours to solve healthcare identity fraud, on average. There is a lack of technological proficiency on the part of the medical health providers as medical theft is quite a recent phenomenon. Patterson also explains to us the subtle and intelligent nature of medical theft and those who commit it. You can easily understand a bank robbery, but it needs you to be tech-savvy to recognize that a medical theft has taken place. Moreover, the consequences of medical theft are far-reaching too. It will be a matter of reputation of your hospital when there is a data breach in your digitalized organization. Hence, alertness and preventative measures on your part as a healthcare provider are vital.
Measures to prevent healthcare identity fraud
Below are a few things that are even pragmatic and simple for a healthcare organization for medical identity theft prevention of the rise of medical identity theft and healthcare hacking of patient’s data. All you need to do is to bring awareness to your patients to implement them.
1) Regular updates of medical records
When the patients are alert about the happenings in their medical records regularly, it becomes easier to detect any theft on their own. They can recognize any service, treatment, or medication that they have not received, but it is mentioned in their medical records. In some cases, they may have been mistakenly added in their name. So, it is better to let them know that they can always cross-check it with you or your healthcare organization. In other cases, they need to be very diligent and report about it without any delay. Hence, it is essential to ask them to check their medical records often.
2) Services to monitor identity
The patients need to be given information regarding the usage of a reliable identity monitoring service. These services can come spontaneously aware of any suspicious activity. It will include all the events discussed above, such as online payments, fake drug reports, bills of others under their name, and robbery of information attached to the court or a mortgage application. Moreover, these services also provide them with compensation to meet the harm once they have ended the suspicious activity. What can be better than it for them?
3) Checking of their credit report
As you have already gained from the above information that has been provided to you, medical identity theft cases can lead to money robbery too. And it would surely be visible in their credit reports. So, it is important on their part to keep checking their credit report often. The most apparent medical theft can be effortlessly found out through this source. There will be some amount of money that they owe to you or the hospitals or the offices of healthcare providers.
4) Contacting their health insurance company
Let your patients know that even the health insurance givers can assist them in any mishap with their insurance details. They have all the right to ask them about their documents and the amount that they have paid. Further, they can also ask the company to analyze and check them to recognize the medical robber properly. The health insurance providers have the power to terminate excess damage, while the security analysts are checking your account.
5) Not let anyone use your health insurance card
It is significant for patients to comprehend that not only can the potential criminals and fraudsters steal their medical details but also the dear ones. One way of doing so is through the illegal method of using others' health insurance card. This practice has the potential to invite harm to one as well as make your medical records full of misleading data. Hence, it is necessary to let them use your health insurance card. A practical attitude is more required than friendly behavior to prevent the worst medical identity theft consequences.
Hence, there must be literacy regarding how to prevent medical identity theft, the safety of medical identity among healthcare facilities and patients. It is true that as healthcare systems go digital, medial identity theft rises. But various improvements such as the effective process of identity-proofing, investment in health IT, implementation of UHSI are in your control. You can surely make a change as medical identity theft rises with the healthcare system going online.