Health Information Management

Make medical identity theft prevention a top priority

HIM Briefings, May 1, 2009

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Medical identity theft is an ugly reality for healthcare organizations, patients, and payers. It’s only going to get worse if providers don’t have an effective theft prevention program, a specific requirement of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Red Flags Rules, which has a compliance deadline of May 1. Providers should take the following steps:

  • Conduct an organizational audit. Investigate where your potential problems are, based on your organization’s unique setup and experiences. Take a look at the FTC’s list of 26 possible red flags (www.ftc.gov/os/2007/10/r611019redflagsfrn.pdf) to see which apply to your organization and make sure there is enough time to conduct a thorough investigation.
  • Develop your identity theft prevention program. Include all credit accounts in the program’s scope, not just large balance accounts. “It doesn’t matter if someone is just paying a buck a week toward an account,” says John C. Parmigiani, HIPAA security and privacy consultant and president of John C. Parmigiani & Associates, LLC, in Ellicott City, MD.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to HIM Briefings.

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