America’s medical records systems are flirting with disaster, say the experts who monitor crime in cyberspace. A hack that exposes the medical and financial records of hundreds of thousands of patients is coming, they say — it’s only a matter of when.
As health data become increasingly digital and the use of electronic health records booms, thieves see patient records in a vulnerable health care system as attractive bait, according to experts interviewed by POLITICO. On the black market, a full identity profile contained in a single record can bring as much as $500.
Thieves and professional ID theft con artists could be on the verge of a breakthrough that will steal millions of ID's.
“Agents in the El Paso and Laredo sectors are getting sick,” said Shawn Moran vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.
“We’re working in close proximity doing medical screening on people and seeing cases of H1N1 swine flu, chicken pox, measles, lice and tuberculosis.
People who are supposed to be cleared are being released into the community.
Given the dormant period of some of these diseases there is a concern.”
But of course, those with means will not be affected, since the wealthy will retain their private options for now.
originally posted by: DontTreadOnMe
.....but they will not have my SS# or a copy of my driver's license.
January 1, 2014 Federal Mandates for Healthcare: Digital Record-Keeping Will Be Required of Public and Private Healthcare Providers
A key provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is about to go into effect, and healthcare providers across the country are preparing to comply. As of January 1, 2014, all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) must have adopted and demonstrated “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR) in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also includes financial incentives for healthcare providers who prove meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). EHR is not only a more comprehensive patient history than EMR, the latter of which contains a patient’s medical history from just one practice, but also the end-goal of the federal mandate. “Meaningful use” of EHR, as defined by HealthIT.gov, consists of using digital medical and health records to achieve the following:
Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
Engage patients and family
Improve care coordination, and population and public health
Maintain privacy and security of patient health information
Penalties also exist for non-compliance. EP’s who haven’t implemented EMR/EHR systems and demonstrated their meaningful use by 2015 will experience a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursements, and rates of reduction will likely rise annually thereafter.
The Rise Of Medical Identity Theft In Healthcare
Last month, the Identity Theft Resource Centerproduced a surveyshowing that medical-related identity theft accounted for 43 percent of all identity thefts reported in the United States in 2013. That is a far greater chunk than identity thefts involving banking and finance, the government and the military, or education. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that since it started keeping records in 2009, the medical records of between 27.8 million and 67.7 million people have been breached.
The definition of medical identity theft is the fraudulent acquisition of someone’s personal information – name, Social Security number, health insurance number – for the purpose of illegally obtaining medical services or devices, insurance reimbursements or prescription drugs.