Identity theft takes many guises. It can happen to anyone at anytime and is a nightmare to fix if it’s not discovered early. In the medical realm, it has become the fastest-growing type of identity theft in the world and can ruin a person’s name, finances, career, and reputation. The article, “Medical ID theft: Double Danger for Doctors,” by American Medical News illustrates how MD identity theft creates double the amount of risk for doctors.
The articles states that there are two kinds of medical identity theft: one that involves a patient’s identity being exploited; and the other that involves a physicians professional identity being stolen and used. Both create huge consequences for doctors as their profession is compromised and they can be held responsible for the theft of a patient’s identity.
The article focuses on Los Angeles based-internist, Dr. Anne Peters, MD, who became the victim of an international crime ring who had stolen and used her medical credentials to scam Medicare out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The article states:
“When Dr. Peters sought advice on how to resolve the situation, she not only came up empty-handed, but she soon started feeling like a criminal herself. She was visited by federal agents, she received notices from the Internal Revenue Service regarding back taxes on $750,000 she never earned, and she was even detained once at the airport for more than an hour when she returned from a trip abroad. Meanwhile, Medicare stopped sending her payments for legitimate claims.”
Six years after struggling to clear her name, Dr. Peters became an advocate for medical identity theft awareness and helps shed light on the fast-growing crime among her colleagues and among federal agents, who have developed programs to help physicians in similar situations. The article provides a clear look into medical identity theft red flags, risks, and how to prevent it from happening in the future. Read More…