Sunday, December 04, 2005

Identity theft and fraud in the healthcare context

Jeff, at HIPAA Blog points to an article on ID theft and fraud in the healthcare context put out by the American Health Information Managment Association. He introduces it thusly:


More on identity theft: Here's an article from AHIMA that supports my constant cry that the big risk of improper use/disclosure of PHI isn't about the 'H' but about the 'P'. Unless you're a professional athlete, nobody cares about your knee surgery. But they do care about your name, address and social security number. There's money in that information.

From the into to the article:

Identity Theft and Fraud-The Impact on HIM Operations (Journal of AHIMA):

Identity theft and fraud are the fastest growing crimes today. Healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable to identity theft due to the wealth of patient personal, demographic, and financial information that is collected, transmitted, and maintained in the course of operations. Healthcare employees with legitimate access to protected health information (PHI) may gather information for later misuse. Credit cards and identification may be stolen while patients are being treated in healthcare facilities. Individuals posing as investigators may contact patients or providers asking for information that allows them to impersonate the patient or provider.

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