Medical identity theft is dangerous and on the increase

Written by on February 23, 2017 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

One in four U.S. consumers (26 percent) have had their personal medical information stolen from technology systems, according to results of a survey from Accenture released today covering medical identity theft. The findings show that half (50 percent) of those who experienced a breach were victims of medical identity theft and had to pay approximately $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per incident, on average.

The breaches were most likely to occur in hospitals (36%), followed by urgent-care clinics (22%), pharmacies (22%), physician’s offices (21%) and health insurers (21%). Half of consumers who experienced a breach discovered it themselves, through noting an error on their credit card statement or benefits explanation, while only one-third were alerted to the breach by the organization at which it occurred.

“Health systems need to recognize that many patients will suffer personal financial loss from cyber attacks of their medical information,” said Reza Chapman, managing director of cybersecurity in Accenture’s health practice. “Not only do health organizations need to stay vigilant in safeguarding personal information, they need to build a foundation of digital trust with patients to help weather the storm of a breach.”

According to Healthcare IT News (here), as medical identity theft continues to rise, so does its impact on the healthcare industry and patients. Prevention is possible with the right health IT solutions.

Protected health information (PHI) is highly valuable on the black market because it can be used to obtain pharmaceuticals, commit insurance fraud or obtain medical care through channels such as Medicaid and Medicare. In fact, according to the FBI, stolen health information currently fetches $60-$70 on the black market, while a Social Security number goes for less than $1.1.


But the costs are not just monetary. Medical identity theft can cause delays in treatment, misdiagnosis and inappropriate care. The health data of the imposter is merged with the identity of the real patient, creating serious inaccuracies in health data that can be life-threatening.

More Here [Accenture Survey]

This article was first published on CyberSec.Buzz

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .


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