The impact of medical identity theft on patient identification

The impact of medical identity theft on patient identification


When identity and medical insurance fraud occurs, hospitals and patients suffer. An estimated 2.3 million individuals were impacted by medical identity theft in 2014, an increase of 21.7% from 2013. Unlike the victims of credit card fraud, who have avenues of remediation, victims of medical identity theft can suffer serious financial consequences. The average out-of-pocket cost of a single identity theft incident is $13,450. Based on this statistic, medical identity theft is estimated to cost the healthcare industry over 30 billion dollars a year.

Identity fraud is a large cause of patient misidentification. In an identity theft case, fraudulent identification cards and shared insurance cards presented at the time of registration create a significant risk for patients and clinicians, as these records may contain inaccurate medical information for the patient being treated, potentially resulting in an adverse patient safety event. That’s why improving patient identification is the #1 National Patient Safety Goal for hospitals, as outlined by The Joint Commission.

Medical identity theft and medical insurance fraud result in patient misidentification and lead to serious repercussions such as:


Preventing medical identity theft

Positive patient identification solutions that identify patients at registration and point of care can:

  • Prevent medical identity theft and insurance card sharing
  • Reduce the creation of overlays
  • Reduce revenue loss caused by denied claims

Imprivata PatientSecure is the leading positive patient identification solution for healthcare that improves patient safety and financial outcomes through biometric identification, medical record clean-up, improved patient matching, and workflow optimization. Imprivata PatientSecure creates a 1:1 link between a patient’s unique biometric information and their individual medical records. The positive patient identification solution is conveniently embedded in the hospital information system’s workflow through integration with existing EMR, EMPI, HIS, and ADT systems. Imprivata PatientSecure is proven to help hospitals overcome their patient identification challenges resulting in improved patient safety, revenue cycle efficiency, and patient satisfaction while reducing medical identity theft and insurance fraud. Learn more here.