Individuals Affected by Identity Theft in 2015 Continues to Multiply

As the healthcare industry continues to digitize patient records, that data is a growing target for cybercriminals intent on committing medical identity theft and fraud.

The number of individuals affected by medical identity theft in the U.S. increased 22 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year—an increase of nearly half a million victims.

Medical identity theft estimates indicate that it affected 2 million victims in 2014, nearly double the number of victims affected five years ago.

As the health industry creates more and more electronic health records and becomes fully digitized it creates more incentives for hackers to try to attack.
This is largely due to the fact that medical records are highly lucrative on the black market, more lucrative than credit card data.

This is creating a huge problem for patients. Generally two-thirds of medical ID fraud victims were faced with significant expenses like legal fees. With the cost to resolve a medical fraud incident right around $13,000 per person, it’s a huge problem for the healthcare industry and the individuals affected.

Unfortunately, breaches and instances of medical ID fraud will only continue until the healthcare industry gets serious about protecting patients’ personal information. Simple procedures like encrypting data and requiring two-factor authentication are basic steps that every healthcare provider needs to require. The recent UCLA health breach is such a massive problem because the data wasn’t encrypted.

If you want to protect your organization and your patients, call ITPAC today to ensure that you have the policies and procedure in place to avoid the HHS Wall of Shame.