The Difficulties of Managing Medical Identity Theft

July 25, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​According to the authors of an article published in the July 2014 issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, medical identify theft, which is estimated to impact 1.5 million Americans and cost providers billions of dollars annually, is a difficult issue for healthcare organizations to overcome due to the complicated process of identifying medical identity theft, the financial incentives that discourage detection, and the delicate management of patients when theft is detected, but there are serious financial and patient safety issues related to this crime. The authors comment that healthcare organizations are at a disadvantage when it comes to identifying medical identity theft, as any insurance payments must be returned after theft is detected and then the organization is left to attempt to collect payment from the thief, which can be difficult and cause large losses. In addition to the financial issues that surround medical identify theft, obvious patient safety concerns exist as well.

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