Medical ID theft occurs when an identity thief uses another person’s social security number or another personal identifier to obtain medical care, products, services, or insurance benefits. The problem is widespread in all areas of healthcare, and it is a growing concern in professional practices. A breach of patient information can cripple a practice financially and legally.
To prevent medical ID theft in their practices, many healthcare professionals consult with medical ID theft experts to hold “Lunch and Learn” sessions with their staff. Employees are the first line of defense in stopping medical ID theft, so these informative sessions arm them with knowledge to detect, prevent, and report the theft. Medical ID theft Lunch and Learn sessions are ideal for professional practices, corporate or insurance carriers, and workers’ compensation carriers because they:
Typically are held on-site, saving time and money because there is no travel involved
Provide personal attention so employees can learn valuable information and ask questions in a relaxed environment
Can be customized to address the unique needs of a practice
During a Lunch and Learn, employees learn what medical ID theft is and how it impacts the practice, patients, and their own private information. They learn practical information they can begin using immediately, including the need to compare a patient’s healthcare ID card with a photo ID, how to properly destroy paper and electronic medical records, and many other ways to prevent medical ID theft.
Following a Lunch and Learn, the medical ID theft expert is also available for regular consultations to act as an advocate for the practice. This gives the owner the peace of mind that they are consistently receiving updates on new medical ID theft tactics used by identity thieves, as well as new strategies to prevent them.
Indeed, a medical ID theft expert is an invaluable resource for a professional practice for both Lunch and Learn sessions for employees, and to assess the security policies and procedures of the practice. A medical ID theft expert ensures that the practice is taking all of the right preventive measures to protect the private information of both patients and employees. These medical ID theft prevention strategies include:
Performing a risk assessment of the existing systems, policies, and security procedures
Working with IT professionals to ensure files are encrypted, passwords are being used properly, and records are safeguarded
Identifying who has access to what information within the practice
Performing background checks
In addition to assisting with prevention strategies, a medical ID theft expert also teaches professional practices what to do in the event of a security breach. This includes shutting down the ID thief’s use of the identity, gathering evidence, reporting the medical ID theft to the proper authorities, notifying both the payor and the patient whose identity was stolen, and other critical actions.
To learn more about preventing medical ID theft and to schedule a Lunch and Learn for your staff, call 310.831.4400 or visit www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com
Written By: Linda Vincent
Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to stop identity theft and healthcare fraud. Call The Identity Advocate at 310.831.4400 or email [email protected] Visit www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com.