Medical records contain personal information that can give thieves everything they need to steal your identity. Whether through fraud or carelessness, the very employees trusted to protect these records are the ones often putting you at risk. Here are several cases showing just how vulnerable medical records can be.
Woman Gets 16 Years for Scamming Medicaid With Kids' Stolen IDs
A Georgia dietician was sentenced to 16 years in prison for stealing the identities of Head Start students to claim more than $4 million from Georgia Medicaid, according to The Florida Times-Union.
Schella Hope claimed at trial that other people forged her signature to involve her company, Hope Nutritional Services LLC, in the fraud. A federal jury convicted hope of 58 counts, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
Officials say Hope stole the identities of 25,000 children across Georgia and invented medical conditions to add to their files in order to bill government programs for services.
The judge ordered Hope to repay more than $4 million and sentenced her to three years' probation upon release.
Health Department Clerk Steals Over 1,500 Patient IDs
A former health department employee was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing patient information, CBS Miami reports.
Authorities say Salita St. Simon stole the private data of 1,858 people when she was a senior clerk in the Palm Beach County Health Department. She then passed it on to others who used it to file fraudulent tax returns.
The judge also ordered St. Simon to pay more than $19,000 in restitution and serve two years’ probation after her release.
VA Accidentally Releases Thousands of Medical Records to 1 Patient
When a veteran ordered his own medical records from a Veterans Affairs Medical Campus in Wyoming, the VA sent him a CD containing over 6,000 pages of private medical information for other patients, FOX31 Denver reports.
While the man who received the records wishes to remain anonymous, FOX31 contacted one of the men whose medical information was on the CD.
Terry Teg was unaware his medical records had been sent to a stranger until he was contacted, but he wasn't surprised. The Cheyenne VA facility had mistakenly sent him someone else's medical records in the past.
A VA spokesperson says an employee realized the mistake after the records were mailed.
In the last three months of 2013, the entire VA system experienced about 2,300 record breaches and offered those veterans credit protection.
Pennsylvania Health Center Mixes Up Patient Records
Coordinated Health in Pennsylvania sent one patient home with another patient's records, according to the Standard Speaker.
Gloria Senape was sent home with the private information of another patient, but later told that her information was not given to anyone else. The company will now provide credit monitoring and protection services for her.
Earlier this year, Coordinated Health had larger security issues when an employee laptop containing 733 patient records was stolen from a car.