Medical Identity Theft
Will You Be Next?

What does medical identity theft involve? It is the use of physician identification numbers and/or patient identification numbers, both used to obtain payment and bill for services.

Medical identity theft is a real concern to be aware of.

A conservative estimate is approximately 250,000 cases a year.

It's estimated by Blue Shield Blue Cross that $600 million per year is attributed to medical identity theft.

WOW! We as consumers are the ones that pick up the tab for this in higher medical costs and higher health insurance costs.

How Is Your Medical Identity Stolen?

  • Having your medical identity stolen is even more of a catastrophe than regular identity theft.

Changes in your medical history can be made; i.e, false information regarding procedures, medications, and allergies.

  • HIPAA does protect our medical records, but has no mechanism for enforcement.

Legislation has put in penalties for such a crime, but there are no reporting mechanisms or inspections to make sure compliance is guaranteed.

  • Medical scams have involved cases where an employee of a hospital or clinic sold information involving over 1,000 patients.

There was a limit to how many names an employee could access, but no one realized that this employee was going way beyond the limit and accessing an unusual amount of names.

  • This crime is very profitable to the thieves involved in selling this information and, in many cases, can literally cost you your life.

Millions can be made from this crime in only a period of a few months.

Medical Scams When
Checking Into A Hospital

  • Many hospitals use your social security number as your identification number when you become a patient.
  • Your social security number or ID number appears on your chart and wristbands for anyone to see.

Identity thieves love this, and it makes the crime of medical identity theft so much easier for them. It's like handing your identity to them on a silver platter.

  • At check-in, ask the hospital to use a different number to circumvent this problem.
  • If they won't cooperate concerning this request, then just take a black permanent marker and black out all but the last 4 numbers of your social security number wherever it appears.

The hospital can usually confirm your information if a birth date, address, phone number, etc are given in place of the social security number.

  • Many hospitals are also changing the display on their computers to only show the last 4 digits of the social security number.
  • Also, be careful about verbally giving out your social security number whenever another person can overhear this sensitive information.
The hospitals in my area have tried to address this identity theft problem by asking for a driver's license or some other form of photo ID at the time a person registers.

Medical identity theft is also perpetrated by people that do not have medical insurance.

The person steals someone else's medical identity so they can receive medical care, prescriptions and some have even been able to have medical procedure's and operations.

The victim who has had this theft happen to him/her is then sent the bill.

What A Shock!

This is a nightmare for the victim and their life is sent into chaos.

  • The time and stress involved for the victim in trying to correct this horrible crime is unbelievable.
  • It is harder to correct medical identity theft than regular identity theft.

The gall of some of these criminals who initiate medical identity theft is unimaginable.

A friend of mine, who works in the medical field, said that in some cases, a fake clinic, or even a real one, has been set up solely for the purpose of gaining access to personal information and medical records.

This is another form of "scam baiting" at it's worst.

You may not even know your medical information has been stolen until you are denied coverage because of a condition that is considered "pre-existing", a condition which you don't have.

To protect yourself against this crime, make sure and get a copy of your medical records.

Treat your medical records as you would your bank statements.

  • Make sure you go over them on a regular basis so, if anyone meddles with your file, you'll be aware of this, and immediately be able to correct the situation and stop medical identity theft from happening to you.

Federal law states you have the right to a copy of your medical records from a hospital or health care provider; so, if you think it's possible you've become a victim of medical identity theft, make sure you take advantage of your right to your medical records.

You also have the right to have incomplete or inaccurate information removed. In some cases, you may be charged a small fee for the copies.

If the hospital or your health care provider refuses to copy your files, you may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, (HHS).

Hospitals usually have a patient advocate to help, and each state also provides rights.

You may find out more about your rights under federal law at the Department of Health and Human Services HHS website. Go to or phone 1-800-368-1019 or TTY: 1-800-537-7696.

The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is to avoid it in the first place. This is why I've partnered with Identity Theft Deterrent.

I encourage you to click here and gain an understanding of how this resource can help you.

When you take the required steps upfront to avoid getting involved with identity theft, you can rest assured that you and your family are safe.

Be sure to learn how you can Prevent Identity Theft Without Paying Monthly Fees

Believe it! Medical identity theft is real and is big business. Protect yourself by becoming aware of all the facts and don't become the next victim of this dangerous scam.

See more medical identity theft information in the following:

  • Medical ID Theft - Steals your medical file and your identity. Go to medical id theft to learn more.

  • Health Insurance Scams - Health insurance scams are happening at an alarming rate. Go to health insurance scams to make sure your health insurance is the "real deal".

  • Medical Scams - Medical scams are vicious and can take your home, business, name and everything you own. Learn more at medical scams.

  • Health Care Laws - Health Care Laws are a very popular and growing opportunity for identity theft. Learn more at health care laws. I also include 10 basic things you need to know about the new laws.

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