Friday, March 26, 2010

Electronic Medical Records Data Theft Booming

Nicole Lewis writes on InformationWeek:

Acceleration in the use of electronic medical records may lead to an increase in personal health information theft, according to a new study that shows there were more than 275,000 cases of medical information theft in the U.S. last year.

Unlike stealing a driver's license or a credit card, data gleaned from personal health records provides a wealth of information that helps criminals commit multiple crimes, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a Pleasanton, California-based market research firm.

Information such as social security numbers, addresses, medical insurance numbers, past illnesses, and sometimes credit card numbers, can help criminals commit several types of fraud. These may include: making payments from stolen credit card numbers and ordering and reselling medical equipment by using stolen medical insurance numbers.

A key finding from the report is that fraud resulting from exposure of health data has risen from 3% in 2008 to 7% in 2009, a 112% increase.

More here.


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