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Monday, August 11, 2008

$180,000 of medical services and prescription drugs: Medical identity theft

In May, a woman in Edmonds, Washington was arrested for using another woman's identity to obtain nearly $180,000 worth of medical services and prescription drugs. Authorities say Barbara Reuter took her victim's personal information – including her date of birth, Social Security number and other information – and convinced doctors she was a real Medicaid client. She was caught when the health plan's billing department noticed duplicate billings for virtually simultaneous medical visits.

Medical identity theft can be just as time-consuming and frustrating to resolve as are the more common forms of identity theft that involve stolen credit cards or forged checks.

Advice: Shred your explanations of benefit forms before recycling them.

Thanks to Phuong Cat Le for the source story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

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