In part 1 of this series, we discussed why health care privacy is important and how it can affect you, especially if you are in the medical field. Now, let’s take a look at what can happen if your information is hacked and how to avoid it from happening in the first place. Hacking into email and social media accounts are some of the easiest ways to gain access to people’s private health care information, so be sure to follow these tips for better Health Care Privacy Part 2. With just a little work, you can keep your data safe!
What you can do to avoid medical identity theft
There are a few things you can do to avoid medical identity theft:
- Don’t carry your Social Security card or other health insurance cards with you.
- Keep your health insurance information in a secure place.
- Be cautious about giving out your health insurance information.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.
- Check your Explanation of Benefits statements and look for charges you didn’t make or receive.
- Keep tabs on your credit report and score.
- Sign up for a credit monitoring service if you think you might be at risk for identity theft.
What you can do if you are already a victim
If you have already been a victim of a lack of health care privacy, there are steps you can take to protect yourself in the future. First, make sure to keep all of your personal information in a safe place. This includes your social security number, date of birth, and any other sensitive information. Secondly, be aware of who has access to your medical records. If possible, limit the number of people who have access to them. Thirdly, be cautious about giving out your personal information to anyone online or over the phone. Fourth, if you do receive unsolicited calls or emails asking for personal information, do not respond. Fifth, monitor your credit report regularly and report any suspicious activity immediately.
How medical identity theft occurs
Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s name, Social Security number, or other personal information to get medical care, obtain prescriptions, or even file false insurance claims. This type of identity theft can have serious consequences for the victim, including erroneous entries on their medical records, damage to their credit report, and even denial of insurance coverage. In some cases, victims have even been arrested for crimes they did not commit. To protect yourself from medical identity theft, be vigilant about who has access to your personal information and check your medical records regularly for any discrepancies.
Ways medical identity theft may negatively affect your life
Your social security number, address, and date of birth are all you need for someone to commit medical identity theft. With this information, a thief can apply for health insurance in your name and receive medical care. This can leave you with a sizable bill, and potentially ruin your credit score. Even worse, if the thief uses your information to obtain prescription drugs, this could lead to legal trouble for you. In some cases, medical identity theft can even lead to life-threatening situations if the thief receives treatment in your name and has a different blood type than you do.
There are a few prevention measures you can take to help maintain your health care privacy. First, keep all personal health information confidential and only share it with those who need to know. Second, be aware of who has access to your medical records and how they are used. Third, ask questions and get clarification when you don’t understand something. Fourth, know your rights and file complaints if you feel your privacy has been violated. Fifth, stay up-to-date on the latest health care privacy news and developments. Sixth, support legislation that protects health care privacy. Finally, spread the word about the importance of health care privacy.