Medical Identity Theft

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Medical Identity Theft What is medical identity theft? How many people have been victimized by this crime? Ways to protect yourself from this crime. What to do if you have already been a victim of this crime, why it is important to fix the errors on your medical record if you have been a victim of medical identity theft. Medical identity theft is when someone uses your personal identity to use your medical insurance benefits to get free medical services and/or make false claims to gain financial assistance by using your identity. Medical identity theft accounts for 3 percent of identity theft crimes, or 249,000 of the estimated 8.3 million people who have had their identities stolen in 2005, according to the Federal Trade Commission. It is estimated that people who are affected by this crime are left with $40,000 + in bills for services they never used. Medical identity theft can take place in private doctor’s offices, hospital’s, or pharmacy’s. A single person or a group could be involved in this crime. Some people fear that with the electronic medical records from paper that it may be easier to get peoples medical identity. Many people don’t even realize that they have been a victim of this crime until months to years down the road. Something’s you can do if you’re a victim or think you could be a victim or to protect your medical identity. You should monitor your explanation of benefits at least once a year. Look for things like charges for services, office visits, medical equipment that you didn’t use or receive. Sometimes you can do this on your insurances website. Request a copy of your medical records. Look over your medical records for any information that is false. You can ask your doctor’s office to send you a copy of the clinic note every time you go in to see the doctor. If you find any false information make sure you file a police report. Give

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