Medical identity theft is the worst in Miami

The World Privacy Forum has an interesting interactive map that shows how common medical identity theft is. You can pan around the map and zoom in and out to get an idea of how common medical identity theft is. The highest level view of the map certainly seems to say that Florida is the worst place for it.

Map

And if we zoom in on Florida, it looks like Miami is where the worst of it happens.

Florida

The WPF even has a more detailed white paper (“MEDICAL IDENTITY THEFT: The Information Crime That Can Kill You” (PDF)) that you can read to learn more about this subject. Here’s a summary of what the report says:

This report finds that medical identity theft is deeply entrenched in the health care system. Identity theft may be done by criminals, doctors, nurses, hospital employees, and increasingly, by highly sophisticated crime rings. The report finds that medical identity theft victims need an expanded right to correct their medical files in order to recover from this crime, and need more specialized consumer education that is focused on correcting the specific harms of medical identity theft. Key recommendations in the report include:

  • Individuals’ rights to correct errors in their medical histories and files need to be expanded to allow them to remove false information from their files.
  • Individuals should have the right to receive one free copy of their medical file.
  • Individuals should have expanded rights to obtain an accounting of disclosures of health information.
  • Studies are needed to determine what the incidence of medical identity theft is, how and where it is occurring, and how it can be detected and prevented.
  • Notification of medical data breaches to consumers has the potential to save lives, protect health, and prevent losses.
  • All working prototypes for the National Health Information Network need
    comprehensive risk assessments focused on preventing medical identity theft while protecting patient privacy.

If you’re interested in the subjects of privacy and identity theft, this paper’s probably worth reading.

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