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    NPR: Why Pay For Health Insurance When You Can Steal It?

    National Public Radio has a story about medical identity theft  and how it can affect an individual’s safety and privacy:

    These days, most people know the drill for dealing with a stolen credit card number — call the card company and have the account canceled.

    But experts say a different type of identity theft is on the rise — one that could compromise both the victim’s credit and physical safety. Patients using someone else’s name, Social Security number or insurance card to get health care could risk their victim’s health if inaccurate information, such as blood type and medications, is recorded on the victim’s chart. […]

    Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, has been trying to raise awareness about this crime for years now.

    She says that in nearly all the identity cases she’s seen, medical charts are changed, and that poses a major problem.

    “We’ve had people who, all of a sudden, their health care record has different blood types,” Dixon says. “They have health care records with different genders and ages. Different medications. There are people we’ve talked with who, their imposter went in and had a hospital stay and put down that they were allergic to one drug, and then the real person is not allergic to that drug, but they’re allergic to other drugs.” […]

    Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, has been trying to raise awareness about this crime for years now.

    She says that in nearly all the identity cases she’s seen, medical charts are changed, and that poses a major problem.

    “We’ve had people who, all of a sudden, their health care record has different blood types,” Dixon says. “They have health care records with different genders and ages. Different medications. There are people we’ve talked with who, their imposter went in and had a hospital stay and put down that they were allergic to one drug, and then the real person is not allergic to that drug, but they’re allergic to other drugs.”

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