If you’ve received medical care anytime in the last few years, you’ve no doubt been given medical privacy forms to sign. These forms, required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as HIPAA, are designed to help protect the privacy of sensitive medical information. But what happens when you owe a... Read More
When you are a victim of identity theft, one of the smartest things you can do to thwart the thief from doing more damage is to place a fraud alert or a credit freeze on your credit reports. An alert will warn creditors to look more closely before extending credit, while a freeze will prevent... Read More
Last month, the Health Insurance and Medical Privacy Act, or HIPAA, made your electronic medical records a lot safer. As welcome as these changes are, we need to go further. It is time for a federal law requiring encryption of any database that contains personally identifying information (PII). Despite the lunacy now emanating from our... Read More
These days, consumers may pay a lot of attention to the ways in which they face potential problems related to identity theft, such as credit card fraud or someone gaining access to their personal information. However, experts say medical identity theft is just as big a problem. Because more medical data is now being stored... Read More
Approximately 1.85 million Americans were affected by medical identity theft in 2012---up from 1.49 million in 2011, according to the Third Annual Survey on Medical Identity Theft published by the Ponemon Institute, LLC in June.
In recent years, utilities, credit card issuers and banks have made a real effort to redesign their statements so they’re easier for their customers to understand. In many cases they’ve succeeded, and I’m grateful. But for some reason, my health insurer (Anthem Blue Cross) has continued to to send me the same kind of inscrutable... Read More
It was announced recently that nearly 5,000,000 patient records of military personnel were stolen. There was no elaborate hacking, and no technical skill was required on the part of the thieves—some tapes containing these records were stolen from a car belonging to an employee of SAIC who was prosaically transporting them between federal facilities in San... Read More