- Category: News
- Published: Monday, 22 June 2015 07:34
- Hits: 10118
Check out Smithton Medical's new study!!
It’s been a while since I sent a Friends of the Firm email, but that’s not due to lack of news. The truth is the data breach landscape has gone a bit crazy. You no doubt have heard about the huge mega breaches at Anthem and Premera, both health insurance companies whose breaches involved over 100 million Americans and their personal medical identities.
Today, ID Experts released our 5th Annual Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data. It should be no surprise that the key finding is that for the first time, intentional, malicious hacks of healthcare organizations is the number one cause of data breaches in healthcare. (See NBC News story, Health Industry Can't Protect Your Records from Hackers: Report, here). In fact, outside intrusion has increased by 125% since we started the study in 2010. And our study data was gathered just before these huge breaches were announced…essentially foretelling that these large breaches of your medical data would occur. If you combine this data with the recent Ponemon study, released by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) that reported medical identity theft increased 22% in one year, and the FBI’s continuous warnings to healthcare organizations about hacker attacks, this is getting serious.
So it is important to understand why this is happening. It is highly unlikely that the bad guys are hacking into your healthcare data to find out about your latest affliction. What they want is your medical identity. Armed with your Medical ID they can bill Medicare, Medicaid, and/or private insurance for millions of dollars, never having to render any service. You can also be a victim of Medical ID theft, wherein a fraudulent individual uses your identity to obtain medical goods or procedures, putting you at serious health risk due to inaccurate personal health records. According to the FBI, your Medical ID is worth 20 to 100 times more than your financial ID on the dark internet, simply because it is so easy to monetize the information.
So what can you do? First of all, whether you are a notified victim of these huge breaches or not, you should be checking all of you Explanation of Benefit (EOB) statements that your health insurance provider sends you (note that Medicare does not provide these). Look for healthcare providers claiming they did something for you that you do not recognize and if you suspect something, call your insurance provider. And of course I know it is self-serving, but ID Experts is proud of the fact that we are the first to release a Medical Identity Monitoring Service that alerts you if someone is using your hacked medical ID for fraudulent purposes. Don’t hesitate to ask your health insurer if they are planning to offer it. With all of the data showing that your personal medical identity is clearly under attack, it is only a matter of time before you will be demanding a way to protect yourself from the worst form of identity theft…..Medical ID Theft.
_________________Robert Gregg, CEO of ID Experts, and a CPA by trade, has an extensive career as an executive. As CEO of ID Experts, he is committed to protect consumers from identity theft resulting from privacy data breaches, particularly in healthcare. ID Experts provides the absolute best hands on service to prevent and remediate data breaches, and take great care of the victims of a breach.