MEDICAL IDENTITY THEFT

by techtiptom

Originally posted on WIBC.com on 12/13/2010:

MEDICAL IDENTITY THEFT
Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent to obtain, or receive payment for, medical treatment, services or goods. Victims of medical identity theft may find that their medical records are inaccurate, which can have a serious impact on their ability to obtain proper medical care and insurance benefits.
To detect medical identity theft, consider the following steps:

Closely monitor any “Explanation of Benefits” sent by public or private health insurers. If anything appears wrong, raise questions with the insurer or the provider. Do not assume that there are no problems simply because you may not owe any money.

Once a year (or more often, if you believe there is cause for concern), request a listing of benefits paid in your name by any health insurers that might have made such payments on your behalf.

Monitor your credit reports with the nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to identify reports of medical debts.
You also have rights under federal law that can assist you in correcting inaccurate medical records. These rights are described in greater detail at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa. They include:

The right to request copies of your current medical files from each health care provider.

The right to have your medical records amended to remove inaccurate or incomplete information.

The right to an accounting of disclosures – a list of disclosures that have been made of your protected health information.

The right to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services if a health care provider does not comply with these rights.
Reprinted from: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/resolving-specific-id-theft-problems.html#MedicalIdentityTheft

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