December 24, 2020 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team
It's high time the healthcare industry think beyond providing just medical assistance to their patients. Securing patient privacy and data is becoming increasingly vital.
One problem that every industry faces today is frauds, scams, or whatever you wish to call it. The health care industry is not devoid of these frauds. A recent AMCA data theft exposed 2.2 million patient records and made the company file for bankruptcy.
The need for identity screening of patients is increasing. As the world is becoming digital the need to monitor this rapid digitization is essential and hence the need for KYP (Know your Patient) - identity screening of patients.
Illegally collected medical records often fetch over $1,000 each for cybercriminals due to the huge personal data they include. Protecting these sensitive patient data needs a lot more than adhering to HIPAA guidelines. Some advocates are calling for the adoption of a new standard they call Know Your Patient (KYP).
Modified after Know Your Customer (KYC), a critical procedure in the banking sector that needs to verify customers to stop theft related to money, KYP would allow healthcare organizations to check on prescriptions and insurance plans and protect patients from negative financial and identity theft. KYP screening begins with the combination of an identity screening and age verification solution with the website/ web portal or drug store. Once the integration process is done, the patient is verified through his identity document.
How verification is done?
Steps of Verification:
Medical identity theft is the intended use of a patient's medical credentials to do fraud. Commonly stolen medical identity is used to take free health services, free prescribed drugs, insurance benefits, or simply misuse the payment credentials of a patient.
The results of medical identity theft are critically overwhelming. For example, A woman named Anndorie Cromar was about to lose custody of her four children due to medical identity theft. A woman gave birth to a child using Cromar's identity and the child tested positive for drugs. This raised havoc in Cromar's life when an inquiry started on her. Had the hospital verified the identity of that woman it would have saved a lot of time, effort, and money for the identity theft victim, child protection agencies, and the hospital as well.
Sometimes people just let go of this negligence done by hospitals but what about those who sue the hospital management? It will affect the reputation of the hospital and can cost monetary loss to the hospital.
So why not prevent all this loss with a few seconds of verifying your patients?
Pharmacies should verify the age of buyers before handing any prescribed drugs according to the General Pharmaceutical Council. Sometimes minors use the prescription of an elder to get drugs that are not for them. Misuse of prescriptions leads to drug addiction and excessive intake of drugs among minors may lead to life loss. So always verify the age of the customer before giving any prescribed drugs.
Proper security and record of patient information are essential to comply with the data protection laws. For example, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the U.S.
The Healthcare industry is growing and digital technology and solutions are emerging in this sector with time. Health care apps are available where people can connect with doctors online and get prescriptions. This growth is threatened by misuse, breach, and un-monitored use of patient data.
On the other hand, the risk of misguiding is also high in cases where the patient doesn't have a face to face interaction with the physician. KYP screening is one of the best solutions to have a transparent relationship between doctors and patients in this cloud era. It makes sure that the patient is telling the right symptoms and not lies to get prescribed drugs.
In this situation where fraud and the health care industry are emerging the need for equally competent solutions for patient's identity verification is increasing. It can be conducted with the help of digital identification screening solutions.
Hospitals are a place where even a second matters, a swift identity screening solution ensures that minimum time is spent on verification measures and the patient is getting treatment which he/she is entitled to. The rise in medical identity theft is demanding this improvement in inpatient onboarding processes.