Medical identity theft can happen to everyone, especially because our personal data is often stored in hospital and other institutions in the health industry. Many thousands of people have their personal information stolen each year and this could affect their future health plans. After performing medical thefts, perpetrators could follow this up by performing various criminal acts that leave false medical records. This could plague victims with medical information that can ruin their performance. Newborns, elderly and people with chronic illnesses can become victims of medical identity thefts, because they are unable to safeguard their information. In fact, people who passed away recently could be targeted, leaving the family of the deceased with a huge financial burden.
Medical identity theft could also cause health care providers to bill their patients incorrectly. This can happen when bills are transferred to the identity theft victims. Again, health institutions are often poorly equipped to deal with identity theft cases and they simply continue billing the victim. For patients, they can have damaged financial reputation if they are unable to pay, leaving them in more difficult situations. Their long-term health plan can also be affected and it is harder for them to get approval for any financial matters. In this case, patients should know what they need to do if their personal information, such as name, home address, medical insurance details and social security numbers have been harvested by identity thieves.
The first thing that they need to do is to find out whether false medical accounts or records are created in their names and personal information. When fake accounts and records have been created, the possible financial implications can really be significant. In fact, it is possible that the victim’s personal medical information has been altered by the identity thieves. This could cause physical harms, because there will be changes in information of blood type, prescription drug use, allergens and records of past illnesses. Victims can get wrong treatments based on the false information. Unfortunately, the database and payment systems in the health industry can be quite complicated, making it harder to find any change and alteration.
Depending on the country or local regulation, you may obtain a copy of your personal information and medical records that are stored in the database. This should allow you to discover whether your information has been altered. In this case, it is important to immediately correct your records and the first thing that you need to do is to contact the health service provider, especially if they have an anti-fraud hotline. Your information need to be restored immediately and access by the identity thieves should be locked down immediately. Contact the local law enforcement agency about your case and depending on your country and area, there’s no guarantee that such report will be followed up. It is important to perform at least annual examination of your personal records, while passwords and personal identification numbers should be changed every 3-4 months.