George Jenkins, the writer for the “I’ve Been Mugged” blog (http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com) writes about a recent survey release discussing medical identity theft. While this has been going on for a while (I had my first case involving electronic MedID theft 8 years ago) it serves as an excellent proactive warning: THINK about any and all information systems that you give your ID to and QUESTION the flow of information. We are not living in an age where blind trust/acceptance is acceptable.
The study was performed by the Poneman Institute and sponsored by Experian. One of the Privacy analysts with Poneman was quoted (emphasis added):
“The two results that stood out to me were the more than $20,000 average cost to consumers who suffered ID/credit fraud as a result of a medical data breach, as well as the potential for physical harm to those who have their medical records ‘polluted’ due to healthcare fraud,” says Mike Spinney, a senior privacy analyst at Ponemon Institute.
The residual issue of “physical harm’ due to a corruption of medical records gives plenty to ponder – especially given the efforts to aggregate medical records in an electronic environment. Also particularly interesting are the number of people that were aware they had a problem and did not report it. I wonder about the psychology of that.
By the way – George is an excellently informed writer on these types of stories, and his blog is definitely worth a follow.
George Jenkins’ Link:
Thanks for the shoutout and link to my blog. Sorry to hear of your experience with medical ID theft. Let me know what happens and how you are able to resolve your medical records.