What do you do with your empty prescription bottles?
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How about all of the medical information you receive, like your explanation of benefits? Becoming careless with your personal medical information can be dangerous, and the theft of this priceless data can be deadly.

Approximately one 5 million Americans are victims of medical identity theft every year, a crime that costs the nation $41. 3 billion annually. Prescribed fraud is a growing form of healthcare identity theft that is not only extremely costly and time-consuming; it can also place your health at risk and even be life-threatening. Unfortunately, medical identity theft isn’t very commonly known by many Americans, and frequently isn’t detected until it’s too late. When we don’t take precautions to prevent prescription fraud and other forms of medical identity theft, we put ourselves in jeopardy of becoming another victim.

What is Prescription Fraud?

Prescription fraud takes place when identity thieves use your private information to fill prescriptions in your name. They use your medical identity to receive medical treatment at hospitals and doctors’ offices, obtain medications, and accessibility other healthcare services.

Prescription scams doesn’t just leave you with a huge bill-it can potentially put your health at risk as well. You may find that false info has been added to your personal health record, such as a change in blood type or supposed allergies. Every medical procedure received and prescription filled from the identity thief becomes part of your medical history, which means you may not be able to obtain the life-saving treatment you need in an emergency medical situation.

Detecting and solving medical identity theft can be difficult as well. You may not discover that you’re a target until a pharmacy refuses to fill a prescription because it conflicts along with another medication you appear to be having. To make matters worse, fixing mistakes in your record can be very challenging because of medical privacy laws. Ironically, the same laws that were implemented to protect your privacy and health information are now safeguarding the medical identity thief. This particular restricted access to medical records stretches the duration of the theft, priced at you countless time, money, plus frustration.

How to Prevent Prescription Fraud

Among the easiest ways to avoid this type of medical identity theft is simply to be aware of whatever you throw in the trash. Prescription medication brands carry such sensitive information otherwise you full name and address, the prescribing physician, the type of medication, prescription quantity, and the pharmacy’s contact information-all of the things a thief needs to carry out prescription fraud. Instead of throwing bare prescription bottles in the trash, including the drug information forms, remove the labels and shred them. Other ways to prevent prescription fraud:

᾿ Review each explanation of benefits (EOB). Look at the charges for medical trips or prescriptions you didn’t get, and report any suspicious action immediately.

᾿ Never simply throw medical information in the trash. Rubbish divers can easily access your personal info if you fail to shred the paperwork.

᾿ Secure medical records. Maintain your medical records in a safe location inside your home or in a safe down payment box, away from the prying eye of visitors. Believe it or not, friends plus relatives who have easy access to your private information are often the culprits.

᾿ Protect prescription bottles. Hide or lock-up your medication rather than leaving this in plain sight or inside a medicine cabinet. This will prevent anybody from walking off with your prescription medicine and, later, your identity.

᾿ Manage written prescription slips. No longer throw them away or leave them out there where they can be stolen. These moves are all an identity thief must fill a prescription in your title, leave you without your medication, take your medical identity, and even place your life in danger.

᾿ Enlist the aid of an identity theft protection services such as ID Theft Solutions, which could proactively help prevent medical identity robbery and even restore your identity if it’s stolen.

Protecting your identity is definitely an ongoing process that takes caution. By taking some common sense precautions, you are able to avoid the exorbitant costs and health risks of medical identity theft.

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