Health Industry Struggling To Keep Up With Growing ID Theft Problem

Dan Bowman | FierceHealthIT | February 10, 2014

The rise in medical identity theft in the U.S. in recent years--and in particular, theft involving a breach in technology--has been swift and has left many concerned about the effectiveness of privacy regulations, according to a recent Stateline report.

"It's almost impossible to clear up a medical record once medical identity theft has occurred," Washington, D.C.-based health attorney James Pyles--who has worked on privacy measures both for HIPAA and the HITECH Act--told Stateline. "If someone is getting false information into your file, theirs gets laced with yours and it's impossible to segregate what information is about you and what is about them."

According to a recent survey published by Identity Theft Resource Center--a San Diego, Calf.-based nonprofit--more than 40 percent of all records breaches involving personal information nationwide were of the medical variety in 2013, Stateline reported. That number exceeded breaches that took place in various other industries, including banking, the government and education.