JAMA: Substantial Amount Of Medical Identity Theft Goes Unreported

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The February issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association says there were more than 3,600 cases of physician and patient medical identity reported to the Federal Trade Commission in 2009.

More than 12,000 cases were reported from 2007 to 2009.

Of particular concern, the JAMA article says it’s “likely that a substantial amount of theft goes unreported,” as widespread use and distribution of physician identifier numbers makes it easy for thieves to steal doctors’ and patients’ identities.

The article also says that as risk factors and fraud schemes continue to expand, “improved vigilance by individuals and health care organizations is required to secure patient and physician medical identities.”

Doctors and patients can report suspected identify theft by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

 

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.