By Mark Brousseau
As we move closer to the effective date of the FTC’s new Red Flag Rules, identity theft is still a problem in the healthcare industry, Nancy Vickroy, director, healthcare product development and management, TransUnion, LLC, said today at the Seventh National Medical Banking Institute.
Vickroy cited a survey that found medical identity theft accounts for 3 percent of all U.S. identity theft cases each year, and represents an estimated cost of $468,000 annually. She also pointed to a recent study from the Identity Theft Resource Center finding that 13 of the 100 breaches reported this year involved a medical provider or insurance company, and could have impacted 98,000 people.
Vickroy offered attendees some tips for developing an identity theft prevention program:
… Choose red flags that make sense in your environment
… Identify departments that interact with individuals with covered accounts
… Determine types of information gathered and how it is verified
… Develop procedures to detect red flags during the life of the account
… Implement identity verification at every step
… Integrate automate solutions to ensure standardized verification processes
… Train staff in policies, procedures and responses to ensure consistent patient experience
… Develop procedures for triggered red flag accounts for exception handling
… Periodically evaluate for effectiveness and modify as needed
… Track down known incidents of identity theft that occurred despite the program and monitor trends
… Use data to make meaningful modifications over time
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