What does a red flag mean on your medical record

A "red flag" on your patient medical record or patient billing account suggests that you may have been the victim of identity theft. An example would be patients who alter their identity in order to receive narcotic prescriptions or insurance coverage.

The Red Flag Rules were set in place by the Federal Trade Commission, federal bank regulatory agencies, and the National Credit Union Administration on November 9, 2007. These rules are used by financial institutions, creditors, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations to help implement programs that detect, prevent and reduce the severity of identity theft in new and existing accounts.

To detect a red flag, organizations can check for altered or missing insurance cards, or photo identifications at the time of patient registration. A red flag may also be triggered if there is a pattern of unusual medical care that appears on a patient's medical chart.

In medical identity theft news- A recent survey of healthcare organizations revealed that 94% have had at least one data breach. 45% of organizations say they have suffered five data breaches during the past two years. 69% of organizations surveyed confessed that medical devices like insulin pumps and mammogram imaging, which contain patients' protected health information (PHI) are not secured. These statistics have led researchers to believe that data breaches could be costing the U.S. healthcare industry an average of $7 billion each year.

Updated on Tuesday, December 11 2012 at 05:15PM EST
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