Medical ID Theft Increased by More Than 20% in FY 2014, Study Finds

February 24, 2015 in News

Twenty percent more medical identity theft cases occurred in fiscal year 2014, compared with the previous year, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, Clinical Innovation Technology reports.

Details of Study

For the annual study, researchers surveyed about 49,000 U.S. adults (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 2/23).

The study — which aims to determine the effects and pervasiveness of identity theft in the U.S. — was sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, with support from Experian Data Breach Resolution, Identity Finder LLC, ID Experts and Kaiser Permanente (Ponemon Institute study, February 2015).

Findings

According to FierceHealthIT, the researchers found that consumers consider data theft to be complicated, costly and time-consuming. Specifically:

  • 80% of survey respondents said being reimbursed for “money spent to prevent future damages” was the most important step following identity theft;
  • 79% said they felt it was important for providers to ensure the privacy of their records;
  • 68% said they did not have confidence in their providers’ security measures; and
  • 35% of those whose information had been compromised in the past said the thief had used their benefits, causing a valid claim to be denied.

When asked how they would respond to record theft or loss:

  • 48% said they would find another provider; and
  • 52% said they did not know how they would respond.

Meanwhile, researchers found that 35% were “not familiar” with HIPAA and privacy standards related to data security.

To reduce medical identity theft risk, the study authors said that, “health care providers and insurance providers should help consumers gain more control over their medical records” (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 2/23).

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