The act of obtaining and using someone’s personal identity without their consent is considered identity theft. Identity theft is not new and by no means limited to the healthcare industry. On the other hand, considering only the first two months of 2017, and based on the total number of data breaches reported, the healthcare industry boasted a grand total of 79 data breaches. In other words, 25.3% of all data breaches were in the healthcare industry. Not a significant number unless you consider that there were 740,000 records within these breaches and that the same accounted for 57.2% of the total records exposed in the first two months of 2017. Looking at it from another point of view:
Let’s be clear, medical identity theft is a criminal act. Medical Identity Theft is also considered a violation of HIPAA Privacy, HIPAA Security and a number of other laws and regulations. Yet the key consideration is what can we do about this problem? For beginners, we would recommend three basic actions:
Additional preventive actions include:
The Federal Trade Commission also offers several resources and recommendations regarding identity theft which may be accessed by visiting their website at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft. You can also contact Taino Consultants Inc for professional guidance or EPI Compliance for assistance with policies, forms and training.