Medical ID Theft will Increase Due to COVID-19 – Can Hospitals Prevent Them?

medical id

Since the unprecedented virus COVID-19 took over the world, life has been quite different than what we were used to. It has been around for quite some time now, infecting millions of people around the world. However, people are somewhat getting used to it – many are going out without adequate protection, the US is opening up, and naturally, these activities have led to an increase in infections.

While the US healthcare system deals with the COVID-19 disaster, there is another pressing concern that healthcare providers need to pay attention to in the near future. There will be a spike in medical ID theft cases in the US, according to security experts. Naturally, this will not only affect patients, but it will also affect providers. But why will medical ID theft cases rise, especially during the pandemic? Why is it so prevalent in the first place? Most importantly, can healthcare providers prevent medical identity theft and protect their patients? Read on to find out.

Medical ID theft is more common than thought

Medical identity theft is anything but new in the US. Ask anyone and you will find out that they know what it is – you might even find someone who is a victim or knows someone who has been a victim. That is because over 2.3 million people become a victim of medical identity theft in the US every year. Healthcare providers, on the other hand, can lose up to $250,000 due to settlement costs. Apparently, these numbers are supposed to rise in the coming days, according to an expert.

Randy Pargman used to work for the FBI and has stated that there will be a sharp increase in medical identity theft cases during the pandemic, as it is quite a vulnerable time for providers. This provides hackers with a good opportunity to steal patient data. Since the records hackers steal from hospitals contains valuable information like Social Security Numbers, insurance information, names, addresses, DOBs, these easily pave the way for fraudsters to assume the identity of victims, ultimately leading to medical ID theft. However, not all providers will face cases of medical identity theft – leading providers are using RightPatient to prevent medical identity theft and improve healthcare quality and safety.

Moving on to more important things, why is medical identity theft so common? The answer is quite simple – it is extremely profitable for hackers to steal patient data and sell it on the black market. Hackers can charge up to a hefty price of $1,000 for a single patient record. On the other hand, credit card information can be sold for up to a mere $110. Thus, it is quite clear as to why there are so many healthcare data breaches and attempts to steal patient information.

Healthcare is quite expensive if you live in the US – everyone knows that. That is one of the reasons why many people resort to buying patient data from the black market so that they can obtain expensive healthcare services for a very small amount of money. Whatever the case may be, medical identity theft is a serious offense and can lead to adverse effects for patients. For instance, if a fraudster commits medical identity theft, the patient’s record will be modified with the information received from the fraudster – medications, allergies, etc. Unless the fraudulent activity is detected or acted upon, the victim might receive improper healthcare services, leading to harmful consequences. Thus, financial damages are not the only problems being faced by patients.

Providers have to take the heat for such cases. Patients might hit them with lawsuits for not being able to protect their records or detect fraudulent activity. In fact, over 50% of patients would switch providers if their providers cannot protect their sensitive patient records.

RightPatient prevents medical ID theft

While medical identity theft is common and costly, it is preventable. Leading healthcare providers have been using RightPatient for years  – eliminating medical identity theft from their premises successfully. But what exactly is it and how can it benefit healthcare providers, especially during and after the pandemic?

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that is simple to use but quite effective. It locks the medical records of the patients with their photos upon registration. Returning patients simply look at the camera – the platform matches the photo with the one attached to the record and produces the accurate one within seconds. It is extremely easy and hygienic since it requires no physical contact.

Thus, if someone tried to commit medical identity theft, the person will be caught by RIghtPatient, preventing medical identity theft on the spot.

Terrebonne General Medical Center, Community Medical Centers, Duke Health, and University Medical Center are just some of the many leading providers who have been preventing medical identity theft using RightPatient.

Since experts are already warning of increased medical identity theft, RightPatient seems like the weapon to choose to fight back against it effectively.


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