The Smart Card Alliance Health Care Council released a new brief today on the rising threat of medical identity theft, calling for the use of two-factor authentication with smart card technology as the ideal way to protect patient identities and information.
According to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, nearly 1.5 million Americans have been victims of medical identity theft with an estimated total cost of $28.6 billion – nearly $20,000 per victim.
Though recent legislation, like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, highlights the need to address privacy and security across the U.S. health care system, no controls have been put in place to guarantee that patient information is always protected, says the Smart Card Alliance.
In “Medical Identity Theft in Health Care,” the Alliance describes how two-factor authentication with smart card technology allows patients and providers to securely access personal health information.
“As the Healthcare Council is comprised of industry professionals from all parts of the healthcare sector, we have a unique perspective on the issues facing the industry and have a great forum to collaborate on possible solutions. This is especially important as health care moves quickly toward electronic records, and ready solutions are needed to address the security and privacy challenges ahead,” said Paul Contino, vice president of Information Technology at Mount Sinai Medical Center and chair of the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council. “Readers of this brief will come away with an understanding of how identity and authentication solutions based on smart card technology can provide an ideal foundation for improving the security and privacy of health information systems and electronic health records.”
The full brief, “Medical Identity Theft in Healthcare,” is available to read and download on the Smart Card Alliance Web site.