If you have no idea about medical identity theft, you would probably say that there’s nothing wrong in taking your medical records. Don’t assume that they’re taking your medical records because they want to know the outcome of your latest surgical procedure or your current blood cholesterol level. What they’ll be using is your valuable data; like your social security number and insurance information. They can also use it to make false claims using your name, among other fraudulent acts. If you want to prevent medical id theft, it is necessary for you to have enough knowledge about the depth of the problem and the consequences you may suffer in the long run.
Importance of your medical identity
Remember that your medical records are supposed to be kept private and confidential. Exposing these details can put hospitals in serious danger. It is important to understand the risks of medical id theft, especially with your health status. Since culprits can enter false information into your record, you can become a victim of mismanaged medical treatment or drug administration errors the next time you visit the hospital. Take note that false information in your record can lead to medical errors, so better be on the lookout.So, if you have been notified by hospitals that your medical records are missing, be on the lookout, because it could have been stolen. Also, be alert for possible signs of medical identity theft, especially if it involves bills or receipts for medical services that you have not actually obtained. Also, check your credit card report (your medical record also contains your card information), because the fraud can show up as fake collection notices or unnecessary hospital bills.
You surely don’t like any of these to happen that’s why you have to value your medical records similar to that of your credit cards.
Why my medical records?
Medical id theft is basically about cashing in. Thieves can abuse a stolen medical record for financial gains by making false claims from insurers or government agencies. The financial resources can already help those who really have serious ailments, but because of medical identity theft, the insurers and agencies suffer from great financial losses. Following the theft, victims can then receive bills for benefit claims or medical services that they have not availed of.
Given this, your medical record is actually as valuable as your credit card, and thieves will do everything to obtain them from you, as well. If you experienced having a stolen credit card, chances are, they had been used for fraud. Similarly, your stolen medical record will be used for fraud, too.
Remedying your falsified record is difficult, no doubt. It can take a while, but if you will take this problem into a bigger picture, you will understand that other patients may also suffer from medical identity theft. If this happens, the damages will be much greater, of course – imagine thieves holding hundreds of medical records with them. That’s a lot of money. For agencies and insurers, stolen medical records mean more risks for future financial loses.