Health Information Management

Note the date: Red Flags Rules deadline is May 1

APCs Insider, April 3, 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 Rule, which has a compliance deadline of May 1.

"It's very real," says Kate Borten, CISSP, CISM, president of The Marblehead Group in Marblehead, MA.

Part of the problem is that it is increasingly difficult to verify identity, particularly in the frenetic hospital setting. Increasingly, patients are posing as other people to gain free healthcare. And the hospital culture can facilitate that. For example, EMTALA requires that hospitals provide care first in an emergency.

"The whole idea is to just give the care and worry about if they can pay later," says John C. Parmigiani, HIPAA security and privacy consultant and president of John C. Parmigiani & Associates, LLC, in Ellicott City, MD.

You can read the complete article on the HCPro, Inc. Web site. Health Information Compliance Insider subscribers have free access to this article in the April issue via their online subscriptions.

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