Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Identity Theft in Healthcare

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

What do you think? Post your comments below.

1 comment:

Steve Cabouli said...

Is identity theft happening in health care industry? It is completely a new piece of news for me. As i have been a victim of identity theft i know how it can affect an individual. Anyway i belive that technology can bring a great deal of change in stopping identity theft.