Protecting your medical identity from criminals - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Protecting your medical identity from criminals who want to steal it

SALEM -

Expect to get your picture taken at most of Jefferson Surgical Clinic's offices. The digital images are extra security to make sure patients are who they say they are.

Shannon Bowen with Jefferson Surgical Clinic says, "It is important for patients when they come in to know they have a sense of security from their physicians office because we house a lot of their personal information as well as their personal health record information."

It's important because facts from the Federal Trade Commission show that medical identity theft is a big problem.

Warning signs:

*People who advertise free medical services or products but then require you health plan id number

*Criminals pose as insurance companies, physician offices, or pharmacies

David Enderle is one of between 6 and 8 thousand patients seen at Jefferson Surgical each month. His wife Joyce likes the added protection.

She says, "You wouldn't want someone taking your records and using your medicare number or your social security number."

Some people may not realize just how valuable those health insurance policies can be. There is a whole group of identity thieves out there just waiting to steal your information technology like this helps protect you.

Bowen says, "As time goes on and identity theft gets worse and technology continues to go where it is going more physicians offices should do that. It should give a patient a sense of security to know that their patient is taking all of this seriously."

Signs you might be a victim include:

*Receiving a bill for medical services you didn't receive

*Getting a call from a debt collector about a medical debt you don't owe

*Receiving a notice from your health plan that you have reached your benefit limit

No need to be camera shy, when it could mean keeping your information secure.

Link to more from the Federal Trade Commission.

 

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