Kathleen Meiners was puzzled when a note arrived last year thanking her son Bill for visiting Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence, Mo. Soon, bills arrived from the hospital for a leg-injury treatment. But her son had never been there.
Criminals are now getting medical treatment and prescriptions under stolen identities, and some hospitals are employing biometrics to verify patients' identities. "Criminals still go after retail and banks," said Ann Patterson, program director for the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, "but the shift is into health care.
There has been over 20% growth in this crime since 2013. There were nearly 2.3 million victims in 2014 costing victims more than $20B out-of-pocket. Medical identity theft and fraud constitute a major societal problem exerting pressure on our healthcare and financial ecosystems.
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