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With Fall well on the way, you may be bracing yourself for cold & flu season, and possibly a few trips to the doctor's office. With that in mind, this month we'll be looking at the growing problem of medical identity theft.

One of the more than 40 types of identity theft, medical ID theft involves someone fraudulently using your identity to obtain medical treatment, file for fraudulent billing, or access prescription drugs. Despite Federal laws such as HIPAA (the Health Information Portability and Accessibility Act), the Ponemon Institute estimates medical ID theft will affect nearly 2 million Americans this year. With more and more doctors using electronic health records (EHRs) and mobile devices to access your personal information, it is critical for you to understand the factors that put your health privacy at risk and simple measures you can take to prevent medical ID theft.

Daniel J. Benish,
President
CORE ID Services, LLC

Medical ID Theft can be Hazardous to Your Health

The World Privacy Forum warns that not only is medical ID theft on the rise, but it can have serious effects on the care you receive - and the safety of your treatments. In "Medical Identity Theft: The Information Crime that Can Kill You," the authors warn that when an imposter uses your medical identity, it can cause false information to enter into your medical record. If your doctor, pharmacy or other health provider sees this erroneous information on your record, including while accessing an electronic Health Insurance Exchange (HIE), they may misdiagnose or prescribe medications dangerous for you.


Click on image to view interactive map highlighting medical ID theft complaint locations.

The report also notes that medical ID theft victims do not have the same recourse and avenues for help that financial identity theft victims do. Because CORE ID Services handles all types of identity theft, your ARX-ID membership gives you access to complete support and recovery services by one of our Certified Recovery Experts. If you believe you are a victim of medical ID theft, help is just a phone call away at
855-262-7612.




Your Medical Privacy & the Law

When you go to the doctor, one of the forms they ask you to sign is their "HIPAA Policy." This relates to a federal law put in place to help safeguard your medical privacy. But HIPAA does not cover all uses of your medical information, and only works when the guidelines are actually followed by health professionals. Take charge of your medical privacy by understanding your rights under HIPAA, and asking your doctor how they are meeting the requirements.

Here are a couple of online resources to help you learn more about HIPAA, your rights, and how to protect and access your own medical records:

Have a complaint about how your doctor office is handling your privacy? Contact an ARX-ID Certified Recovery Expert at 855-262-7612 and we can start an investigation on your behalf. Your voice counts; one study found that 30% of medical breaches were discovered due to patient complaints.

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© 2012 CORE ID Services, LLC


In this issue:
  • Letter from the President
  • Medical ID Theft can be Hazardous to Your Health
  • Your Medical Privacy & the Law
  • Tip of the Month
  • This Month on Facebook
  • Data Breach Roundup

space Tip of the Month:

Check your medical insurance statements. If someone is using your identity for medical insurance coverage, this may be your first - or only - indication of medical ID theft.

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This Month, our Facebook Fans Learned:
  • The latest threat targeting hotel guests.
  • Breaking news about ID theft and a payday loan site.
  • How to plug into the BBB's scam alert service.
  • How to make your free annual credit reports work for you all year long.
Find us on Facebook and get connected to data breach updates, scam alerts and other useful tips for protecting your identity.

Data Breach Roundup:

Two of the biggest US data breaches in the past year - TRICARE and the Utah Medicaid Breach - were in the healthcare sector. Overall, a total of 499 major U.S. health information breaches have affected 21.2 million individuals since September 2009. Read more

Here are some other recent patient data breaches. Details on these and more are on the myCoreID member portal:
  • University of Miami Hospital - two employees stole & sold patient information, including SSNs
  • Apria Healthcare - Laptop containing information on 11,000 patients stolen from an employee's car.
  • Restart Behavioral Healthcare - Patient records left in a dumpster in a clear violation of HIPAA requirements.
For details and updates on these data breaches and more, login to www.mycoreid.com.

About CORE ID Services:

CORE ID Services, LLC provides identity theft protection to employees and other groups through their ARX-ID suite of services. We emphasize monitoring to detect identity theft in the early stages, and fully-managed recoveries to mitigate the effects of identity theft with the least possible stress and involvement on behalf of our plan members.