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October 2013

Group to combat medical identity theft with tech, consumer awareness

Pssst... want to buy some protected health information? Organized crime syndicates of hackers are stealing databases of medical or financial data and reselling them on the black market -- complete with fake driver licenses -- for up to $1,300 in tidy downloadable packages called "kitz." Willing buyers can present themselves at hospitals or physician offices to get health services covered by the victim's insurance plan. That's one form medical identity theft presently is taking. Another common form of medical identity theft involves an uninsured relative of an insured patient borrowing an insurance card to illicitly obtain healthcare. EHRs are sold without any idea of interoperability. Because of it, a consumer's contaminated records can be all over the place. William Barr, development coordinator, MIFA A new nonprofit industry consortium, the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA), is tackling the problem head-on. Charter members include ID Experts, AARP, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the Identity Theft Resource Center...

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