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Medical Billing Data Theft

Medical Billing Data Theft

Medical Billing Data Theft

The Portland Oregon has suffered a severe medical billing data breach. Providence Home Services, a home health agency, recently had their patient records stolen. This medical billing information breach severely compromises the privacy and confidentiality of its patients. Now Providence Home Services may be in trouble for a lack of medical billing security.

365,000 medical billing records were compromised on December 31, 2005. Records that dated back to 1987 were stolen. These included names, dates of birth, addresses, diseases , etc. The medical billing records were stolen from an employee’s car. Apparently, the agency appoints a different employee to cart computer files home every day. This is done just in case the computer system needs a backup of files. Unfortunately, this also means medical billing records are not secure.

Perhaps the most alarming data on the medical billing records is the patient social security number. Social security numbers can be used for identity theft . Providence home services has agreed to foot the bill for credit checks on all affected patients.

Since security and medical billing of Providence Home Services, the blatant mishandling of files has led the attorney general to begin investigating legal violations. HIPAA may also get involved in this medical billing issue.

Unfortunately, it has been reported that identity thieves are acting as providence employees and obtaining personal information. Social security numbers and bank accounts have been “verified” by these criminals. Once these thieves got a hold of the medical billing information, they got tricky.

Don’t let your practice follow in the footsteps of Providence Home Services. Always keep your patient medical billing information behind locking key and/or password . There’s absolutely no reason patient records should be kept in an employee vehicle. Patient medical billing information should be treated as safely as you would treat your own information.

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