Medical Identity Theft A Growing Problem

Mon, 09/26/2011 - 11:30am
Emily P. Walker

WASHINGTON -- Nearly four out of ten doctors and hospitals surveyed have caught a patient trying to use someone else's identity in order to obtain healthcare services, according to a new survey from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Patients seeking medical services under someone else's name was the second most common privacy or security issue reported by healthcare providers, according to PwC's nationwide survey of 600 executives from U.S. hospitals, doctors' organizations, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and life sciences companies.

Medical identify theft is the fastest-growing form of identity theft, affecting 1.42 million Americans in 2010 and costing more than $28 billion, the report said.

Theft accounted for 66% of the publicly reported security breaches documented since 2009, which included stolen laptops, stolen smartphones, using patient data to submit fraudulent claims, and people seeking medical care in another person's name.

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