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HIPAA Security Reminder of the Week

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a crime where personally identifiable information such as name, Social Security number, date of birth, credit card number, health insurance number, etc. is inappropriately acquired (usually stolen) and used without authorization, to commit fraud or other crimes.

How to avoid or detect the theft:

  • Carefully examine the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) sent by your health insurance provider.
  • Most providers will include a toll-free number on the EOB to call for questions or potentially fraudulent claims information.
  • At least once a year, request a list of benefits paid in your name by health insurers that may have made payments on your behalf.
  • Monitor your credit reports with the nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and Transunion – to identify reports of medical debts.
  • Request a full copy of current medical files from each health care provider and examine for errors, such as treatment and medications you never received.

Contact the appropriate patient rights advocates at the insurer and/or provider to correct the false entries.