Health Information Management

Tip of the week: Be aware of medical identity theft

HIM-HIPAA Insider, May 21, 2007

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Because the electronic healthcare environment lends itself to privacy breaches, it is important to educate your staff on the scenarios and why there is institutional risk.

Be aware of medical identity theft. This information crime almost always involves a hospital insider in collusion with organized crime. For a good example of this type of crime, consider the Department of Justice's recent prosecution of Fernando Ferrer Jr., who paid a hospital insider at Cleveland Clinic for information about 1,130 patients. Ferrer then used the information to wrack up $7 million in Medicare claims, for which Medicare paid $2.5 million.

Editor's note: This tip was adapted from an article in the May 2007 issue of Electronic Health Records Briefing. For more information, click here.

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