Medical Identity Theft and Its Influence on the Healthcare Industry

Identity theft is the main reason many people are not willing to use digital services, which results in minimizing digital development in the healthcare industry.

Phenomena of medical identity theft occurs mostly in countries such as the US, South Korea and Switzerland, where an average health insurance costs starting from 100-300 US dollars up to 1000 US dollars per month. Fraudsters’ target is either a Social Security Number or an insurance card information.

The main threats a person may encounter are:

  • Stealing treatments — scammers may use stolen insurance information to get treatments having no insurance of their own;
  • Buying drugs — obtaining doctor’s prescriptions to buy drugs, fraudsters can legally buy and resell them on the black market;
  • Invoicing fake treatment — using personal information thieves bill a health plan for a fake treatment; sometimes the information is stolen by hospital employees or doctors involved to get money for treatments a patient has never received.

In some cases, even a person’s credit card information is endangered as it’ theft can go unnoticed until a medical service is actually needed. In order to decrease the risks patients shouldn’t allow to have their credit cards photocopied at the doctor’s office as it is not required in order to get medical service. Being cautious does not always keep you safe either, because thieves can go deeper and hack databases containing patient identity information.

The signs indicating your medical information was stolen:

  • A bill for a medical treatment you didn’t get;
  • A notice from the health plan saying you reached their benefit limit;
  • A denial of insurance because your medical records show a condition you don’t have;
  • Medical notices on your credit report you don’t recognize.

The best solution may either be documents-based check or biometric authentication if you want to simplify the flow for your users.

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