A new report from privacy and data security research firm Ponemon Institute finds that medical identity theft is on the rise and complicated by the growth of electronic health records.

You might want to start giving your health records and medical bills a closer look.

According to a new survey from the Ponemon Institute, an independent group that focuses on privacy and data security, medical identity theft is on the rise: since 2012, the number of people affected by medical identity theft has increased nearly 20 percent. The survey, which was sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance and ID Experts, found that a total of about 1.84 million people in the U.S. have been affected.

For victims, the consequences are not only financial (last year, the groups estimate that medical identity theft led to more than $12 billion in out-of-pocket costs), they’re also medical.  Ponemon reports that those affected by medical identity theft are more prone to misdiagnosis and mistreatment or delayed treatment.

The report also said that, in some cases, patients put themselves at risk because they share health information with family members (committing so-called “family fraud”) so that loved ones can receive medical services or treatment.

Ponemon and its partners also said that the spread of electronic health records has complicated medical identity theft — hackers can break into servers to steal information or access data through medical devices and mobile apps.

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  1. But the article does not mention the doctors / offices who dump patient records in dumpsters for thieves to steal.

  2. Elizbath Martin Monday, September 30, 2013

    Government authorities must have observe this alarming situation. If a person goes to the the doctor they give all the details in worry. But what hospitals and doctors doing by stealing identity information is one reason due to which identity theft on a constant rise. http://enhanced-identity-theft-protection.com/statistics-of-identity-theft-2013-and-2012/
    also shows annual increase is quiet high .

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