Friday, August 19, 2005

Fuss over fraud by hospital clerk

There's currently a big fuss going on in Aspen over credit card fraud allegedly perpetrated by a claims clerk at the Aspen Valley Hospital. The hospital has since outsourced this function, saying this move "virutally guaranteed" it could not happen again.

Aspen Valley Hospital: All care taken to prevent identity theft

"... When asked if AVH had performed a thorough background check on Lozano, Jellinek became extremely agitated with a reporter. He said the facility wouldn't spend $10,000 for a background check on a $10-per-hour clerk. He accused The Aspen Times of attempting to blow the story out of proportion and making the identity theft appear to be an extensive problem with the hospital's billing and collections procedures.

Jellinek later apologized and stressed that he and other AVH officials have worked hard to fix a financial crisis there and didn't want to see the progress harmed. One part of the solution was outsourcing billing and collections to First Consulting Group, he said...."

Methinks a background check may be in order if the clerk will have privileged access to patient information ... or you don't give privileged access to a $10-an-hour clerk.

As an aside, it looks like it was simple theft of credit card numbers, so "identity theft" may not be the appropriate term.

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