Some great news with life saving implications. A few months ago, I had written about the life-threatening issues identity theft introduces into medical care. As noted then, the largest perpetrators are illegal immigrants, transients, and drug addicts (attempt to get a prescription etc). Illegal immigrants, initially, use the stolen identity for work but that, eventually, may translate into medical identity theft when they visit an emergency room or doctor.
Soon, medical identity theft will be somewhat curtailed (depending on the measures employed) as doctors and hospitals will be verifying patients’ identities:
“This is showing that the same Mary with this Social Security number and this address; you should be 54. And you’re not 54,” said Deborah Wyncoop, the director of Health Policy with the Utah Hospital and Health Systems Association.
She says if someone pretends to be you, it could mean a deadly medical mistake
She explains, “If you’re O negative, and that person was B positive, and they start transfusing you with what is on the old record, that could be very problematic and potentially very deadly.”
Or Wyncoop says you could get the bill for medical procedures you didn’t have.
She says, “Was this someone that just transposed their Social Security number unintentionally, and we can find them, versus this was someone who borrowed someone else’s identification.”
When I posted on the subject, I suggested E-Verify be allowed to be employed to prevent these problems. The rule is dubbed the “Red Flags Rule”. The report doesn’t detail what mechanism will be used, but I hope that E-Verify (or a very close variant) can be used. Nevertheless, this should be comforting to patients, hospitals, and doctors in providing, and receiving, effective medical care.