The threat of medical identity theft is becoming a far bigger threat than initially expected, and it’s on the rise. And to make things even worse, patients can’t effectively take matters into their own hands because, in most states, medical identities belong to the provider or hospital.
It began like an ordinary purse snatching. The credit card reader on the gas pump at her Houston neighborhood station wasn’t working, so Deborah Ford went inside to pay. By the time she returned to the car, her purse and wallet were gone. Ford filed a police report, canceled credit cards, and requested a new driver’s license and health insurance card. She checked with the bank several times to be sure nothing was funny, then forgot about it.
Two years later, the retired postal worker received an unsettling call from a bail bondsman; she was about to be arrested for acquiring more than 1,700 prescription opioid painkiller pills through area pharmacies.
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