Medical identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security Number, or Medicare number, to obtain medical care, purchase prescription drugs, or submit fake health insurance billings in your name. Medical identity theft can disrupt your life, damage your credit rating, and waste taxpayer dollars. The damage can be life-threatening to you if wrong information ends up in your personal medical records.
If you suspect an identity thief has used your medical information, you should:
- Get copies of your medical records. Under federal law, you have a right to know what’s in your medical files.
- Contact each doctor, clinic, hospital, pharmacy, laboratory, health plan, and anywhere you believe the thief has used your information. For example, if a thief got a prescription in your name, ask for the record from the pharmacy that filled the prescription and the health care provider who wrote the prescription. You may need to pay a fee to get copies of your records.
- The medical provider or office that created the information must change any inaccurate or incomplete information in your files. They also should tell labs, other health care providers, and anyone else that might have gotten incorrect information. If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute, ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your record.
You may be tipped off to medical identity theft by:
- Receiving an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for services that you never sought or received;
- Receiving a phone call from a provider to follow up on treatment;
- Noticing incorrect information in your medical records; or
- Being asked about medical treatment or medications you didn't receive at an appointment.
For more information about identity theft, visit our Identity Theft Center or review the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft resources.
If you suspect you or someone you know is a victim of medical identity theft, report it immediately, call the Colorado Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 720-508-6696 or file a complaint online.