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What is Medical Identity Theft?

Medical identity theft occurs when someone steals personal information like name, social security number, or other parts of private healthcare information such as insurance information, medical diagnosis and use it to obtain medical care, buy drugs, or submit fake billings to Medicare, Medicaid or insurance companies. Medical identity theft frequently results in erroneous entries being put into existing medical records, and can involve the creation of fictitious medical records in the victim’s name.

Medical identity theft is a crime that can cause great harm to its victims, disrupt life, damage credit rating, and waste taxpayer dollars. The damage can be life threatening. It is also the most difficult to fix after the fact, because victims have limited rights and recourses. Medical identity theft typically leaves a trail of falsified information in medical records that can plague victims’ medical and financial lives for years.

What can you do?
Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline
Phone: 1-877-438-4338 (1-877-ID-THEFT)
TTY #: 1-866-653-4261 

Recovery Act Funds to Support Increased Use of EHR

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009 provides for incentive payments for Medicare and Medicaid eligible professionals (EPs) who are meaningful users of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. Eligible professional includes the following five types: doctor of medicine or osteopathy, a doctor of oral surgery or dental medicine, a doctor of podiatric medicine, a doctor of optometry, or a chiropractor. These professionals are eligible for incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology, if all program requirements are met. Hospital-based EPs are not eligible to participate in the EHR incentive program. An EP is considered to be hospital-based if the EP furnishes 90 percent of his or her services in a hospital inpatient or emergency room setting.

EPs may not receive EHR incentive payments from both the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the same year. In the event an EP qualifies for EHR incentive payments from both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the EP must elect to receive payments from only one program. After an EP qualifies for an EHR incentive payment under one program but before 2015, an EP may switch between the Medicare and Medicaid programs one time.

For more information on the EHR incentive program, see on the CMS website.

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