Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stealing Patient’s Identities

Did you know that medical identity theft is the fasting-growing form of identity theft?

Just last year, 1.42 million Americans were victims at a cost of $28 billion, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The second most common privacy or security issue reported by healthcare providers is patients wanting medical services under someone else’s name.

The nationwide survey consisted of 600 executives from doctors’ organizations, U.S. hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, health insurance companies, and life sciences companies.

The most commonly reported breach of privacy for patients is the improper use of patient data by a person who works for a doctor’s office, insurance company, hospital, or life sciences organization. These breaches included employees leaving private information out in plain sight, talking in a public area about a person’s health information, or even making comments on social media sites.

Most breaches were not the result of hackers, but of simple human error.

As a patient, you need to make sure your information is kept confidential. Inform your healthcare and insurance providers that you have a zero tolerance for compromised files.


At Snyder & Wenner we strive to keep the community safe when hospital care is involved. We have become patient safety advocates by representing patients who have been harmed from hospital error. If you know someone who has been seriously harmed from a hospital error please feel free to contact us. The Snyder & Wenner website can be accessed by clicking the "Patient Safety Advocates" tab above.

Snyder & Wenner, P.C.

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