Healthcare IT News published a great article today on medical identity theft. How much is your healthcare record worth? Believe it or not, you could buy a social security number on the web for as little as a dollar. The price of a healthcare record has skyrocketed over the years, and is now selling for as much as $60 – $70 per record. Why so much? A healthcare record has a high value because you can obtain drugs, commit insurance fraud, and even receive medical treatment.
Stealing medical records has implications all across the board. It effects the patients, the providers, hospitals,and everyone else associated with providing healthcare. Can you imagine if someone stole your health record, used it, and had all of their medical history and aliments to it? The costs are not just monetary. Medical identity theft can cause delays in treatment, misdiagnosis and inappropriate care. The health data of the imposter is merged with the identity of the real patient, creating serious inaccuracies in health data that can be life-threatening. Let’s use a very simple example. The hacker is allergic to penicillin. You get a terrible infection and your record says you are allergic to it. That would certainly not be life threatening, but you get the idea. A health record is sacred. You don’t want anyone mixed in with yours.
The fiscal impact of medical identity theft is considerable, generating losses to the healthcare industry of more than $30 billion each year. However, patients also sustain financial consequences of fraud, having to pay an average of $13,500 to resolve these issues, and the stress of having to make sure your not compromised anywhere else. Resolving this can be a very long process.
What You Can Do
We are asked this question constantly. ” How can I protect our practice against hackers and thieves?” I wish there was a simple answer, but the isn’t. Still, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk. One, is to get a secure network in place. The other is to educate. Educate yourself, your staff, and your physicians. You want to make sure everyone is vigilant in protecting the network. Not just the IT staff. Put measures in place to monitor things, and check on things. Protect your data by having adequate backups. Losing you data to hackers and thieves is just as bad, if not worse.
Having a reliable network should be your number one goal. If you do not have proper IT policies and procedures, its not too late to put these things in place. Contact Tier3MD for more information.
How Much Is Your Healthcare Record Worth?