Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Identity Thief Gets Retired Teacher Billed for His Foot Amputation

Imagine getting slapped with an unexpected and huge
hospital bill for a surgery you didn't even have.
But, when you walk into the hospital to show them
your foot is indeed intact and request to see your
medical file, both requests are abruptly denied.

While this may appear to be strange and untrue, in
fact due to the rising rate of medical identity theft
and federal privacy laws, this type of sudden, unexpected
identity theft can actually happen to you.

Identity-Thief-Gets-Retired-Teacher-Billed-for-His-Foot Amputation audio post - click to play

Just ask the 56 year old retired schoolteacher this
really did happen to recently.

To make matters worse, a case of medical identity theft
can not only bring financial ruin, but it may also become
life threatening in the not too distant future.

That retired school teacher found that out the hard way
when she suffered a heart attack. When she woke up two
days later finding herself in the hospital, she was asked
by the attendant nurse what drugs she was taking for her
diabetes.

The only problem was - the retired school teacher is NOT
diabetic.

That minor error in her medical file, no doubt related to
her previous encounter with identity theft, could very
well have turned fatal for the retired school teacher.

But, wait there's even more complications with this scenario.

You see, federal privacy laws such as HIPAA were enacted
to protect consumers from unauthorized access to their
confidential medical records by other parties.

When, an identity thief victim reveals to a doctor or
medical office their records are intermingled with
someone else, that other person's privacy is
also
protected even though they are the
criminal who
created the situation.

"Its not the same as a credit report disclosure"

What makes matters worse, most consumers never even
find out a medical identity theft incident has been
perpetrated against them unless an insurance company
or medical provider makes contact for an overdue payment.

So, our tip for today is to be on the guard for medical
identity theft as it's one of the fastest growing segments
in a crime of choice for the modern American criminal.

Get a copy of your medical information profile and
scrutinize the details for any discrepancies, errors
or outright trails of an identity thief using your
good name.

Besides it saving your from unfairly getting a large
overdue bill, checking your medical insurance records
might just save your life from future prescription errors.

3 Comments:

At 12:34 AM, Anonymous thunderdownunder said...

Foul!

Just foul what that identity thief did to that retired woman.

When they find that medical identity thief they should chop off his other foot!!!

And, oh, btw agent99 thank you very much for the tip to check out the m.i.b. for your medical insurance profile.

I would have never found that one without your help.

 
At 6:56 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

Thank you for your encouragement and feedback on the usesfulness of our tips.

If anything we've learned through the years, identity theft prevention is largely an issue of understanding the popular tactics criminals use against consumers and understanding what you can do to counter those tactics.

That's why we strive to provide simple, actionable tools with each of our daily podcasts and/or articles.

Subscribe to the Shocking Truth of Identity Theft

With our next article you will find out just how compelling the arguement of prevention is when we expose the misdeeds of one very committed medical identity thief.

Get Free updates to the latest comments on this medical identity theft article

 
At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to your next article on the "inside man" of medical identity theft.

 

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