Criminals now asking: Your Money or Your Life?

When was the last time you walked into your doctor’s office? Remember when you had to fill out that clipboard at the front desk, and they asked you for your Social Security Number?

Guess what – they don’t really need that.

But you know who does? Criminals.

Medical Billing and Coding For Dummies
Medical Billing and Coding For Dummies

The only reason physician offices ask for your Social Security Number is because they’re likely using that number as your Medical Record Number.

And how stupid an idea is that?

What that means is that any criminal who decides to attack your healthcare provider’s information system will have access to your entire medical history, along with your SSN and assorted payment info.

In other words, everything they could possibly need to steal your identity.  No need to go to a bank or swipe your credit card at the gas pump.


Because hospitals are inherently easier to hack into, as their systems are typically a bit more outdated than banking systems due to high HIS costs and infrastructure upkeep.  Granted, many hospitals and healthcare providers do keep their systems up to date with the latest in security systems… but not all do.

And it only takes one, right?

And it’s not just identity theft that occurs when your healthcare records are taken. Think Medicare fraud, in your name.

How prevalent are healthcare system attacks?  40% of healthcare organizations reported some type of criminal cyberattack in 2013, compared to just 20% of facilities in 2009.

Crime is on the increase, for sure.  So you better be careful where you put your information.

Doctors may chain their pens to the reception desks to keep them from walking away, but your medical records could be heading out the back door without anyone knowing about it.