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Medical identity theft refers to unauthorized usage of a third-party’s medical information or credentials to illegally gain access to healthcare services. There are a number of ways it happens - let’s look at the more common ones.
This is one of the most common places where medical identity theft occurs. It usually happens due to the lack of a robust patient identification system - healthcare officials are unable to detect identity theft cases until it’s too late.
After stealing patient information through healthcare data breaches, hackers sell it off on the black market for high prices. This stolen patient information is then bought off by fraudsters who assume the identities of the patients.
Since most hospitals don’t have robust patient identification systems in place, they fail to identify the fraudsters, and thus, cannot detect medical identity theft in real-time. These lead to a lot of issues down the line such as litigation costs, patient safety issues, loss of goodwill, and so on.
Experts have warned that medical identity theft cases will increase during the pandemic and might even occur during telehealth visits.
Well, the stolen information can be easily used by fraudsters to bypass inadequate remote patient identification systems most hospitals might have – just like inpatient visits. Moreover, many patients even give their credentials to their family members or friends willingly – unwittingly aiding them in committing medical identity theft.
Such cases lead to added costs like medical record clean-ups, lack of patient data integrity, and patient safety issues, among other problems. Hospitals are facing huge losses already due to the pandemic, and they need to recover their losses if they want to survive in the future. One of the best ways to do all of that is by ensuring positive patient identification.
Robust patient identification platforms like RightPatient use the one aspect that fraudsters or hackers can’t steal - patients’ faces. Photo-based engines are already used to prevent medical identity theft.
Even in the case of data breaches, whenever a fraudster tries to assume the identity of the patient, the platform red-flags them after finding no match between the photo stored on the medical record and the photo of the fraudster taken by the platform, preventing medical identity theft in real-time.