22% Increase in Medical Identity Theft
22% increase in medical identity theft affecting over 2 million patients in 2014 according to Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA)
The scary thing about medical identity (MI) theft is that unlike your credit card information which is protected by your bank there is no one to protect you if you medical identity is stolen. Your bank will cancel felonious charges and issue you a new credit card but the thief that stole your MI will sell it on the black market to someone that will use it to run up huge charges for drugs and medical treatment. Most victims can expect to pay up to $13,500 to resolve the problem. In addition to the cost the victim has to worry about changes made to their medical record by the thief. They will change important facts such as allergies in order to get the services or supplies that they want.
For the healthcare organization there is another huge risk associated with MI theft. Over half of all patients have stated that they would change providers if they felt that their information was not protected. So a public notice of a HIPAA breach, no matter what the cause, is a public relations nightmare that can cost millions in future business.
As a healthcare organization how can you prevent breaches? Do a formal risk assessment, establish written policies and procedures to fit your organization and train your staff to follow these policies and procedures.
If you need help or just answers to your questions send me an email at Jack@compliancehelper.com