Consumer Alert: Medical identity theft

Posted: Updated:

Experts say that medical identify theft is a growing concern in the United States.

Pam Dixon with the World Privacy Forum says that false information could wind up in a patient’s medical file so that fraudsters can get access to medicine or money.

“All of a sudden, you have been given cancer in your medical record – and you don’t have cancer. Or you may be given Hepatitis C in your health care records, because it’s a very expensive drug and the fraudsters are trying to get that drug,” Dixon says.

Figures from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show that the tristate area is a medical theft hotspot.

New Jersey residents filed 94 medical identify theft complaints in 2017, the fifth most in the country. New York was tied for sixth with 93 complaints, and Connecticut ranked 15th with 29 medical identity theft complaints.

Experts say that there are a few ways to protect yourself from medical identity theft.

Patients should watch their credit reports to look for any debts or addresses that do not match theirs. Benefit explanations from the patient’s health insurance company should also be monitored – calls should be made right away if the patient is charged for services that they did not receive.

Any patient who believes that they have experienced medical identity theft should file a police report.

Dixon says that anyone who is concerned should ask their doctor for copies of their medical files in order to make sure that everything in the file is correct.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."