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Medical Identity Theft Could Mean Life Or Death To Its Victims
In recent years, medical identity theft has been on the incline and the results are often tragic. The definition of medical identity theft is generally when someone uses another person’s insurance information without the original person’s knowledge to obtain medical services. These medical services are then included in the medical identity theft victim’s medial files and could later affect the medical attention or treatment received by the original victim. In the event that life threatening medications or prescriptions are prescribed to the imposter, these medications could later be given to the victim who might have an allergic reaction that could end with fatal results.
Medical identity theft is generally done to obtain medical care, services, medications, equipment or other false claims. This type of fraud results in erroneous entries being added to the medical history of the medial identity theft victim. These types of additions, modifications or removal of information can lead to disastrous health ramifications for the victim.
When a victim of medical theft identity discovers that their medical reports have been compromised, it is important that the false information be removed as quickly as possible. If the information goes undetected or left uncorrected, the falsified information within the medical records can be a major cause of financial and medical problems for life.
How Many Discover That They Have Been A Victim Of Medical Identity Theft
One method of discovery that provides relatively immediate notification to the medical identity theft victim is the “explanation of benefits” that is send out by the private or public health care provider. This detailed listing of all recent medical activity provides dates of service, charges for medical service, payments made by insurance company and the co-pay or balance due by the individual. By reviewing this document promptly and overseeing that the charges are accurate, you can pro-actively monitor your medical records.
If you believe that you are a victim of medical identity theft, it is imperative that you review all medical billings, statements and explanation of benefits to evaluate if any of these services have charged you for medical attention or services that you did not receive, office visits you did not make or medical equipment and supplies that you did not receive.
In the event that you do discover an error, respond promptly by telephone the medical facility or doctor that performed the procedure or service and notify them of the error. A prompt response could prevent further charges and problems from appearing in the future.
Make sure that you request a copy of your corrected records to insure that the falsified information has been removed entirely from your record. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have a right to receive a full copy of your health records from every health insurer that maintains a personal file of your medical history.
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