The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS has awarded a $450,000 contract to management and national security consultant Booz Allen Hamilton to assess and evaluate the scope of the medical identity theft problem in the United States, according to an HHS news release statement.
According to ONCHIT, medical identity theft is when a persons identifiable health information is improperly used by another to obtain medical goods or services or to submit false claims for medical services. The contract work will be done in three parts, according to the ONCHIT statement. First, the contractor will try to get a sense of the size of the problem. Then it will convene a daylong meeting sometime in October to explore how medical identity theft should be addressed. Finally the contractor will prepare and present a plan of action to deal with the problem.
A 2006 report from the Federal Trade Commission estimates that 8.3 million Americans were victims of some form of identity theft that year, and 3% of those victims were targeted for medical identity theft. -- by Joseph Conn