Common sense would dictate that information contained in your medical record is confidential and health care providers should be obligated to keep it safe and secure, right? Not so fast. A recent Bloomberg News article reports that States from Washington to New York are putting patient privacy at risk by selling records that can be used to link a person’s identity to medical conditions using public information.
Outside of the fact that patients should be quite alarmed that States are not subjected to federal regulations regarding patient medical record information distribution, health care provider interest in this story should also be piqued since this opens the door for more people to commit health care fraud at their own facilities.
It’s a well known fact that health care fraud is a very serious problem in our country accounting for an estimated $68 billion a year in losses according to The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Furthermore, fraud accounts for 19% of the $600 billion to $800 billion in waste in the U.S. health care system annually. These are alarming statistics and a large factor in why our health care system continues to be inefficient, wasteful, and not conducive to protecting patient safety.
Health care facilities should take note that there are many new tools, resources, and opportunities for health care fraudsters to obtain confidential information on patients and commit some form of fraud. It is extremely important that these facilities investigate modernized technology tools to help fight health care fraud and prevent it from continuing to tear apart the fabric of the health care system. Health care fraud is bound to increase as criminals discover new ways to obtain sensitive patient financial and health information, exacerbated by the increased flow of data across the health care landscape.
Are you prepared to address the rising concern of health care fraud? What tools do you have in place to help fight it?