Monday, March 28, 2011

The High Cost of Medical Identity Theft

Almost 1.5 million Americans are victims of medical identity theft at an average cost of $20,663 per incident. And when it asked who should ensure the privacy of medical records, 80% of respondents puts the responsibility on the shoulders of health care organizations.

These findings are from the recently released second annual "National Study on Medical Identity Theft" by the Ponemon Institute.
"these results put an even greater onus on healthcare organizations to make the security of sensitive personal health information a priority in order to protect patient privacy." - Dr. Larry Ponemon, Ponemon Institute
Medical identity theft is someone else using your name, address, SS # and insurance credentials to secure medication or medical services. Alternatively the thief could use your information to bill for medical services you never received.
Download a white paper on medical records privacy breach detection as a service. Learn how an on-demand, pay-per-use service can cost effectively detect the theft of a patient's medical credentials - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Other report findings of relevance to readers of this blog, include:
  • 46% learned of the medical identity theft from a collection letter.
  • 37% of victims fear embarrassment if their medical information was stolen.
  • 21% of victims fear the loss of medical coverage.
  • 18% of victims fear a diminished credit score.
(a) Medical Identity Theft: The Growing Cost of Indifference - ProtectMyID Blog, March 2011

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