Thursday, June 14, 2012

Insurance Firm Urges Policy Holders to Request an 'Accounting of Disclosures'

Nationwide insurance is recommending policyholders "request an accounting of disclosures" from their healthcare provider. The suggestion is part of the insurers "Tips for Protecting Medical Identity".

The advice stems from Nationwide's national survey on Medical Identity Theft that reveals adults with health insurance are more vigilent about monitoring their credit report for financial identity theft than monitoring their medical records for medical identity theft.
"A stolen medical identity has a $50 street value -- whereas a stolen social security number, on the other hand, only sells for $1." - Kirk Herath, Nationwide Chief Privacy Officer
The survey reveals that awareness of medical identity theft is now where financial identity theft was a few years ago. So insurers and other interested parties are taking the lead to educate consumers - and a key part of that is teaching consumers to monitor who is accessing their medical records.

So while healthcare compliance officers reportedly have historically only fielded a few requests for an accounting of disclosures, there is a movement by insurers to drive up the number of requests into the future.

This is a problem for healthcare organizations because the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed greatly expanding the type of disclosures healthcare providers would have to track and report on. Healthcare organizations are objecting that this will dramaticaly increase their administrative overhead, especially if, as suggested by Nationwide Insurance, patients were to routinely request an accounting of disclosures.

Download a white paper on a service that could slash the effort to provide an accounting of disclosures. Learn how to effectively track and report on all access to a patients electronic medical records - with no hardware and no on-site software.
It costs about $20,000 and takes 4-6 months to resolve a medical identity theft based on information from actual victims. - Nationwide Insurance
(a) Nationwide Insurance consumer survey shows need to educate, take precautions to protect your credit and your health - Nationwide Insurance Press Release, June 13, 2012
(b) HHS releases new draft accounting of disclosure rules - Health IT Exchange, May 27, 2011

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