The Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council has announced it will host a webinar in June regarding the dangers of medical identity theft. The online seminar will be held on Tuesday, June 8 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Attendance at the Medical Identity Theft webinar will be free of charge.
The online discussion will highlight the prevalence of identity theft in the healthcare sector, as well as the technology and policies that can be utilized to combat the crime. While the issue of identity theft is gaining more attention in the U.S. as larger numbers of Americans fall victim each year, medical identity theft still remains largely unnoticed.
"While we often see identity theft issues in the news, the topic of medical identity theft has not garnered as much attention. However, many consider it one of the fastest-growing crimes in America," Smart Card Alliance executive director Randy Vanderhoof said.
According to a recent study, medical identity theft affects nearly 1.5 million Americans each year. The growing number of medical identity theft cases has led to a loss of nearly $28.6 billion or $20,000 per victim. Due to the tremendous financial and personal loss caused by this type of identity theft, the webinar will focus on a number of topics including the effects of electronic health records and health information exchanges on personal privacy and medical information. The webinar will also highlight the policies and technical standards related to the adoption of the electronic health information database and how they may better protect patients from data breaches.
To cover the wide range of topics, Smart Alliance has invited a number of speakers and experts from many medical, security and research industries to provide their insight on the risks and prevention strategies of medical identity theft.
Medical identity theft is especially dangerous because, in emergency situations, it can mean life or death for victims. Medical identity thieves steal patient information for the purposes of receiving medical services or submitting false insurance claims. In cases where thieves seek medical services and update a victim's information, they may unknowingly put the victim's health in danger. For example, a victim who undergoes a medical procedure may be exposed to medicine or treatments that react adversely with their health, possibly causing death.