Identity theft is becoming more prevalent in the healthcare industry. In fact, there has been a recent 25% rise in medical identity theft. Some pointers to keep yourself safe are as follows:
Medical Billing Information | Protection Against Healthcare Fraud in Medical Billing
- Keep your insurance card safe
- Keep your children’s information safe such as social security #s, etc.
- Give out your social security # as little as possible.
- Do not give your email address to providers.
- WiFi Hot Spots are a great place for scammers to intercept information from the net.
- When giving your personal information to a health provider, make sure you are not in ear shot of others.
- Carefully read all Explanation of Benefits that you receive to make sure that you had the procedures, tests, etc. run on YOU.
Some feel that with the use of electronic medical records that medical identity theft is on the rise. However, theft through the paper record trail is also easy. Laws such as HIPAA and HITECH assist with protecting patient information. The professional medical biller must always be aware of following all compliance rules and policies of the facility they work for, and to be careful when giving patient medical billing information over the phone or faxing information. An example would be to be sure there is someone waiting for the fax to come through so the information is not just sitting there for anyone who walks by (however, most facilities do have their fax machines in a protected area).
Biometric devices that recognize people’s physical traits, such as eye scanners or hand readers, are being incorporated into the medical field to verify patient’s identity. Biometric device makers say that the demand by US healthcare providers is growing, largely due to the huge consequences of a patient receiving incorrect medical treatment based on false records. It also reduces the risk of medical identity fraud.
By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years. Interested in quality medical billing training?