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Duplicate Medical Records Impact Patient Safety in Hospitals

Ensuring patient safety is one of the top priorities for any hospital. Experts suggest that the mismatch and duplication of patient data have damaged the U.S. medical system and caused potentially fatal consequences. Let’s see how duplicates hamper patient safety in hospitals.

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Duplicate medical records may occur in different ways. The most common repetitive error occurs during the patient registration process. This situation also occurs when the unconscious patient cannot be identified. Sometimes, duplicates are created based on the patient’s demographic changes; the registrar may fail to find the patient’s last name and decide to create a new record. Patients must be identified reliably and consistently so that healthcare providers can have a complete view and make the best decisions.

Duplicate records are costly for E.D.

According to a report from 2019, approximately 18% of patient records within organizations are duplicates. Such duplicate records cost an average of over $1,950 per hospitalization, while the medical system spends more than the USD 800 per emergency (E.D.) visit.

Duplicate records cause delay and improper treatment

One-fifth of the patients have incomplete health records due to duplicate data, so they cannot fully view the patient’s medical records. This also leads to delays, unnecessary tests, or improper treatment of the patients. 

There are bad examples of duplicate medical records

Duplicate records pose a remarkable level of threats to the provision of proper care and patient safety in hospitals while carrying some significant consequences. In one incident, a woman’s mammogram was mistakenly assigned to another lady’s chart. As a result, her diagnosis was postponed, and the clinician was unable to start her treatment until the diagnosis was confirmed.

Duplicate Medical Records Impact Patient Safety in Hospitals
Duplicate Medical Records Impact Patient Safety in Hospitals

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

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Patients might end up with the wrong drugs

Duplicate medical records also harm prescription drugs. If a patient receives medications according to the wrong prescription and the clinician does not acknowledge the patient’s drug history, then the probability of a fatal outcome is high.

Duplicate medical records add unnecessary expenses to hospitals  

A survey from 2018 revealed that duplicate patient EHRs cost hospitals an average of $1,950 per patient. 33% of all denied claims were caused by mismatched or incorrect patient information- as found by the survey. Such denied claims caused an average of $1.5 million to the health care system in 2017 and $6 billion annually as a whole. Data sharing continues to grow and poses challenges to the safety of virtual medical records; hence, resolving the issue regarding patient records has become an increasingly urgent and complicated task. 

The challenge of patient identification can be solved if patient records are accurately identified against a patient’s unique feature, and RightPatient does just that. It creates a closed-loop patient record that can only be accessed through biometric identification- ensuring that the patient data is locked and irreversible. Once the inscription is done, patients only need to scan their biometrics- RightPatient to identify the accurate medical record within seconds and submit it to the hospital staff. The duplicate medical records of health systems such as Community Medical Centers and University Health Care System have been significantly reduced, which can help improve emergency medical response and ensure patient data safety.

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Employees Can Compromise Medical Records – How Can Hospitals Protect Patient Data?

As harsh as it may sound, employees getting fired for accessing medical records without any malicious intent is very common. More than 4.5 million records were compromised in unauthorized access or disclosure incidents caused by employee errors, negligence, and acts by malicious insiders in 2019, according to the HIPAA data breach statistics report. Thus, providers need to find out strategies to protect patient data better. 

In 2019 Northwestern hospital dismissed nearly 50 employees for accessing a celebrity’s medical record without consent. Recently mentioned in another similar series of unfortunate events is the Hawaii Pacific Health in Honolulu.  

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Hawaii Pacific Health discovered that an employee had erroneously accessed patients’ medical records. As a result, 3772 patients’ records may have been compromised, according to the HHS Office for Civil Rights data breach portal. The employee who worked at Straub Medical Center was later terminated. The organization believes that the employee only acted out of curiosity and did not intend to embezzle their identities. 

Consequences associated with compromised medical records

Medical records that may have been compromised include name, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, religion, race/ethnicity, Social Security numbers, medical record numbers, primary care providers, dates of services, appointment notes, hospital account numbers, department names, provider names, account numbers, and health plan names.  

Nevertheless, accidental disclosure of sensitive personal information may lead to severe consequences, and lead to medical identity theft or even worse. If it falls into the wrong hands, this information can be used for theft or personal gains. The culprit may also fraudulently obtain medical benefits or sell this information to third parties, who may then misuse them.  

Healthcare organizations plagued by patient data breaches have had a sustained impact. Patient-trust is the driving force for effective and quality clinical practice. When an incident similar to Hawaii Pacific Health occurs, it will cause financial and reputational losses to medical service providers. On the bright side, Hawaii Pacific Health will provide the affected patients with free credit monitoring and identity restoration services for one full year. However, as data breaches make hospitals more vulnerable to identity theft, hospitals will again face an increasing administrative burden.

Employees Can Compromise Medical Records - How Can Hospitals Protect Patient Data?
Employees Can Compromise Medical Records - How Can Hospitals Protect Patient Data?

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

What can the healthcare providers do to protect patient data?

Currently, Hawaii Pacific Health is looking for alternatives and is willing to invest in technology. Technology can help prevent repercussions, such as medical identity theft. Nonetheless, compromised data can be easily safeguarded with a biometric patient identification platform that prevents unauthorized access. 

RightPatient – Biometric Patient Identification Platform

RightPatient has been serving several healthcare providers and medical institutions to avert repercussions like illegal access to patient data, and ultimately preventing medical identity theft. RightPatient is the most advanced biometric patient identification platform that can protect patient data by preventing inappropriate access to patient medical records.

How does it work?

During registration, patients will need to provide their biometric information (facial photos, irises, fingerprints) to the hospital. With the help of biometric encryption technology, patients’ medical data will be kept locked and secured. The next time patients come to receive medical services,  all they need to do is look at the camera or perform a fingerprint scan to unlock their data in seconds. This technology automatically prevents illegal access to medical records,  as to access the data, you will need the patient’s authentication. 

When all is said and done

There is no doubt that the patient’s medical record should be kept confidential, but the crux of the matter is human errors are inevitable. Hospitals should be aware and willing to invest in technologies that can prevent more damage and open the door to more opportunities for quality health service.

Patient identification helps improve revenue cycle

Hospitals Can Improve Revenue Cycle With Positive Patient Identification

The importance of digitization in healthcare delivery is becoming inevitable. As medical institutions and hospitals try to deliver a more value-based care environment, the RCM (revenue cycle management) has become more critical. According to HFMA/Navigant analysis, healthcare revenue cycle leaders are willing to invest more in technologies that will boost their revenue integrity, eliminate human error, and increase productivity in the future. All in all, they are targeting to improve the revenue cycle. 

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According to a report from Sage Growth Partners, one-third of healthcare providers have confronted more than $10 million in outstanding debt every year. Every year up to $125 billion is lost due to unpaid bills and underpaid claims, and the situation is nowhere near improving. As a result, more healthcare providers are demanding revenue cycle managers to revamp and automate their processes. 

Understanding the process flow

To understand how to improve revenue cycle management, we should know that it is usually divided into two separate parts, the front-end and the back-end process. The front-end revenue cycle management deals with patients directly. For example registering new patients, collecting information for patients, and confirming insurance eligibility and coverage. The back-end involves dealing with claims management, denial management, medical billing, and ultimate patient financial responsibility collection.  

Even with all the innovative ideas the RCM managers are putting into effect, healthcare organizations are still worried about:

  • Decreasing cost to collect
  • Providing quality patient experience
  • Reducing initial denial rates, which have gone up in both public and private organizations
  • Concerns about increasing out of pocket costs from consumers, which leads to payments being held up, delayed care, and uncollectible receivables. 

What can be done?

Instead of reaching out to professional RCM vendors, the healthcare providers and medical institutions can solve the problem with proper patient identification. The first essential step which helps to improve revenue cycle and reduce denied claims is to identify the patients accurately and bill them accordingly. Let’s look at the solution and the possible gains from this solution. 

RightPatient – Biometric Patient Identification Platform

A biometric patient identification platform such as RightPatient is a cutting-edge digital cloud technology used by many healthcare providers to address the sorts of problems mentioned above. Using biometrics has proven to be effective in identifying patients accurately.

How it works

During initial enrollment at the hospital, a patient’s biometric data like their iris or facial photos, will be used to keep their information locked and secure. Next time when the patient arrives at the hospital to avail of healthcare services, all he/she needs to do is just look at the camera, and the platform will identify their accurate medical records within seconds.

Hospitals Can Improve Revenue Cycle With Positive Patient Identification
Hospitals Can Improve Revenue Cycle With Positive Patient Identification

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Halt denials before they start

Eliminating the problem at the front-end will ensure that you do not have to worry about back-end RCM staff dealing with denied claims. RightPatient will do that for you. Accurate patient identification from the beginning of the care will eliminate the risk of improper use of patient information, resulting in the rejection of claims. 

Who is using this solution? 

Healthcare providers such as the University Health Care System and Terrebonne General Medical Center are using RightPatient’s biometric identification platform to reduce the number of denied claims and improve their revenue cycle.  

Improve revenue cycle now

Using biometrics to identify patients has also proven to be effective in improving patient experience, reducing administrative burdens, and eliminating errors. Naturally, more time and resources can be invested to ensure the provision of quality care. Adding the front-end and back-end functions through RightPatient can help the hospital create a steady revenue cycle that responds to an evolving industry.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family From Medical Identity Theft

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family From Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft is a big and scary term. And many think that it won’t affect them personally. But in reality, millions of adults in the US have already been a victim of medical identity theft. And anyone could be the next target. In our age of digital information, it’s especially important to make sure your personal info is secure. The consequences of a data breach may be devastating.

The aftermath of a party using your medical identity can vary from hefty financial losses all the way to corrupted medical records leading to a misdiagnosis and/or mistreatment. And while money is a temporary resource, facing potentially life-threatening medical mistakes due to other person’s records being mixed with your own is very serious. Here is how you can protect yourself from it.

Control the Information

Everyone is familiar with the concept of sensitive information. Something you’re constantly told to “never share with anyone”. Things like passwords, social security numbers, health insurance info. Anything personal, really. Well, there are certain situations where you are required to share it regardless. Understanding when it’s safe to share personal info is key.

One of the most common ways the information is leaked is through phones, e-mails, and other means of distant communication. You’ll get a call or a letter from a representative of some company asking you for some of your personal details for one reason or another. In this case, you need to do your best to correctly assess the situation and decide whether you should actually comply.

First of all, verify if they are actually who they say they are. Be especially wary if you weren’t the one to initiate the dialogue. Ask them what they need the information for. Don’t be shy to ask a lot of questions. If they really deal with sensitive information, they should understand your concerns about personal safety.

Posting your medical information online or disposing of it carelessly is also a bad idea.

If there is absolutely no way of sidestepping some sort of online form, make sure the connection you’re using is secure. Check the site’s address. It should begin with https:// where ‘s’ at the end means secure. Take this online service website, for example, https://essaypro.com/. Alternatively, look for an icon of a lock, usually sitting right before the website’s address.

Check Everything

Another useful thing to do to protect yourself against identity fraud is to keep a personal track of your medical records. Having a copy safely stashed away with the details of all your medical visits can help you out in case you need to spot discrepancies in your files. Getting a copy from your doctor shouldn’t be a problem since the federal law protects your right to know what’s in your medical records.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family From Medical Identity Theft
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family From Medical Identity Theft

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Another dead giveaway that something is not quite right is suspicious entries in your EOB and credit report. The EOB stands for the explanation of benefits. It’s a document with an explanation of the services you received and what your insurance covered. It should be handed to you every time you pay using your insurance.

Checking your EOB against your own notes is a sure way to find if someone’s been using your identity to pay with your insurance. Dates, services, and names of doctors you’ve been seeing should all be correct and in order. Otherwise, you might want to clear it with your health insurer.

Watching the expenses on your credit card is one of the more common and widespread habits. And it’s a very useful one as it can protect you from all kinds of financial fraud, including medical identity theft. Accounts you didn’t open popping up or debt collections out of nowhere are red flags that you should act upon immediately. Freezing the accounts and filing a report to the police should be your first steps.

How are hospitals preventing medical identity theft?

One of the most effective ways to prevent medical identity theft is by locking patient medical records – that’s exactly what RightPatient does. It is a biometric patient identification system that locks patient records with their biometric data. During enrollment, the platform takes a photo of the patient as well as scans of their biometrics (irises) and attaches it to the medical record. This ensures that a bad actor cannot come and assume the identity of the patient – if anyone tries to do so, RightPatient will flag the person and prevent medical identity theft in the process.

Final words

Medical files contain a lot of sensitive information. Taking a few extra precautions seems like a given. And yet, many people ignore the basic safety measures in favor of convenience. The truth is if you keep your data secure, you’ll never even feel the effect of it. But you’ll definitely notice the consequences of failing to protect yourself. Hence, it’s way more efficient to spend some time on preventive measures.

Following some basic rules will help you effectively protect yourself from identity theft:

  • Never share your personal info with people you don’t know;
  • Make sure you have copies of your medical records;
  • Make sure you have copies of your financial transactions;
  • Keep your eyes open for discrepancies.

These rules are not hard to follow at all. But putting an effort to maintain those consistently, you are potentially sparing yourself a headache.

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Hospital data breach results in an expensive lawsuit – Is yours next?

Hospital data breaches have been rampant for quite some years now. Last year’s figures alone are quite frightening- one states that 41 million patient records were exposed, essentially making the patients potential victims of medical identity theft. Thus, both data breaches and medical identity theft has been in the limelight. These unwanted nuisances have turned the attention towards healthcare providers who are suffering from these events. One such provider is the University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health), who suffered a data breach of 14 thousand records and also were hit by a lawsuit by the impacted patients.

This happened back in 2019. The provider was sued by patients who were affected by the breach in question. The patients reasoned that the breach had made their sensitive records prone to medical identity theft- their fear was not irrational.

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The actual story

On the first day of May 2019, the healthcare provider found out that an outsider somehow accessed email accounts of two employees for more than a week. Following the incident, the concerned officials said that they took the necessary steps to secure both accounts. 

It was not disclosed how the hacker got access and whether it was a phishing incident or not. However, the healthcare provider revealed that the affected account had sensitive patient data stored, such as names, DOB, medical record numbers, insurance details, as well as treatment details. The hospital data breach even consisted of the Social Security Numbers of some unlucky patients.

The data breach, fortunately, did not affect all the patients of MU Health. However, it did affect around 14,400 patients, which is no small number. As soon as the provider’s inquiry ended regarding the breach on the twenty-seventh day of July, it started to inform the patients regarding the breach. Oddly, the organization notified the patients after the required timeframe of 60 days as per HIPAA regulations.

The aftermath

Within the same week of notifying the patients, one of them filed a lawsuit, followed by 19 others. Their reason was very simple- the data breach would likely result in medical identity theft and lead to lower-quality care. The patients also believed that they were paying quite an amount of money, and thus, MU Health should add stringent security with their services.

Hospital data breach results in an expensive lawsuit - Is yours next?
Hospital data breach results in an expensive lawsuit - Is yours next?

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Hospital data breaches can arm hackers with enough information to obtain medical services assigned to the patients. The hackers could either expose the data, sell it, or use it for themselves. These could lead to the patients paying for healthcare services they did not avail. These could also become denied claims for healthcare providers. Whichever way one looks at it, data breaches and medical identity theft is extremely undesirable. 

How do hospitals prevent medical identity theft?

Although it is quite prevalent nowadays, medical identity theft can actually be prevented. One way to make sure that the medical records are safe is by locking them with a key that hackers cannot forge. That is exactly what RightPatient does. It is a biometric patient identification platform that locks the patient records with their biometric data. Once the platform attaches the medical record with the data during enrollment, a third party cannot come and claim that record, preventing medical identity theft and ensuring accurate patient identification. RightPatient has been preventing medical identity theft for leading hospitals such as University Health Care System and Grady Health System.

patient-identification-system-helps-reduce-opioid-crisis

How to identify patients with opioid abuse or addiction treatment?

Addiction to opioids is a serious problem that is plaguing society. As a result, treatment of this needs to be taken as soon as possible because it becomes very difficult to overcome this,  at later stages. Attending opioid drug treatment centers in Columbus Ohio is the best way to stay away from the addiction of opioids and recover completely. There you will get the best assistance and guidance from the experts that force you to defeat your craving for taking opioids. It is very difficult to control your urge at your home. But in these places, you can easily quit your bad habits. The reason being, in rehab centers, you get chances to meet like-minded people who also want to quit their opioid habits.

Common signs to identify patients with opioid abuse

  • The inability to control opioid use
  • Uncontrollable cravings
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent flu-like symptoms
  • Decreased libido
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Changes in exercise habits
  • Isolation from family or friends
  • Stealing from family, friends or businesses
  • New financial difficulties

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How can biometric patient identification help detect and prevent a patient’s opioid addiction?

In today’s world, a biometric patient identification platform is one of the best and secure way to identify patient’s data integrity. Global healthcare has moved away from its dependence on paper-based therapeutic studies toward the use of electronic health records (EHR). 

So if you or your loved one is abusing opioids, by using a biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient, hospitals can easily identify the patient’s addiction towards opioids. It can red-flag once they go through the identification process, detecting whether they are assuming someone else’s identity or not to attain the drugs. Several hospitals are using RightPatient to improve revenue cycle, enhance patient safety, and reduce the creation of duplicate records as well. 

Here, we have mentioned some benefits of utilizing this to instantly identify patients’ data integrity that includes:

  • Detailed and up-to-date data at the time of service
  • Highly coordinated and effective care
  • Safe sharing of patient information among doctors
  • More infrequent medical mistakes
  • More reliable prescribing practices

These advantages depend on clinicians, hospitals, and other healthcare departments to carefully test patient identifications during all therapeutic encounters. 

If you or your loved one is addicted, kindly visit an opioid treatment center that helps you know how to abstain yourself from the use of opioid and lead a simple life. Although there are many approaches to treat your addiction to opioids, enrolling yourself in a good rehab center is, of course, the most effective way. These centers offer you many programs according to your needs and help you to recover completely. When you make a decision in your mind to attend an opioid treatment program, make sure that you select the best one available in your locality. For this, you need to conduct thorough research and find out the one that suits your requirements as well as budget.

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There is a number of opioid rehabilitation centers in Philadelphia that offer excellent rehabilitation facilities and numerous programs including medical and behavioral treatments. These programs motivate you to quit taking opioids. These centers are located in almost all states of the USA. You can easily find rehab centers in your state that offer excellent facilities. If location is not a problem and geographical limits are not a major concern, you can also look for rehabs outside the USA. This provides you with a wide range of options to choose from. The main benefit of this is that you’ll be able to take advantage of the best rehab facilities for your loved ones in the event you are not satisfied with the existing opioid rehab centers in your state. There are several international options available in other countries too. You can avail the best of the bests. Before enrolling yourself in an opioid center, ensure that you make proper inquiries about their facilities, programs, and fee structure.

Facilities offered in opioid centers

  1. Opioid centers are committed to offering you expert advice and assistance which will help you to defeat your craving for taking opioids. They will also help you to understand the harmful effects of the opioid on your health as well as your family and social life.
  2. Opioid rehab centers offer gender-specific programs and treatments customized according to your specific needs. These programs encourage you to stay away from opioid use and you can live a sober life with your family.
  3. Most of the centers offer you medication treatment that reduces the craving of opioid consumption in you. They employ doctors, physicians, and specialists so that they can offer you proper medication to treat your addiction.
  4. Apart from this, they have several other programs including dual diagnosis, intensive outpatient, sober living, professionals programs, and family outreach programs to inspire you to defeat your urge and live a healthy and happy life.
  5. The rehab centers also have in-house psychologists, trainers, and psychiatrists to help and motivate you to stay away from opioids. They show you the right path following which you can lead a happy and fulfilling life.
  6. They also organize alumni programs where you can meet those individuals who came there as patients and now leading a fulfilling and healthy life.
How to identify patients with opioid abuse or addiction treatment?
How to identify patients with opioid abuse or addiction treatment?

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Opioid rehab centers are the best places to treat addiction. They not only teach you how to stay away from them, but also help you understand their bad effects on your personal, social, and family life. The experts in rehab centers motivate you to defeat your urge of taking opioids and show you the brighter side of life. You can completely rely on their services as they always encourage you to live a healthy, sober, and fulfilling life.

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Proper Patient Identification Can Help Fight the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has been a menace since it started. It spread like wildfire throughout the country, and everyone involved in healthcare is still struggling to keep the situation under control. PDMPs (prescription drug monitoring programs) have been set up in almost every state to monitor activities like prescribing, distributing, and using controlled substances such as opioids. These PDMPs help identify patients who might be prone to drug abuse and provides the hospitals with opportunities to prevent such scenarios.

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If that is true, then why is the opioid crisis still a thing?

PDMPs are dependent on the data they are given to work with. They receive patient data like logs, records, patient profiles, and even counseling records. Thus, if the data is clean, then the PDMPs will work perfectly, and vice versa. Here lies the challenge- most of the data can be incomplete or unreliable, to begin with.

According to Injury Facts, the odds of a person dying from opioids are greater than dying from a motor vehicle collision. This has made opioid overdoses to be the fifth largest cause of deaths in the country. Everyone is on edge regarding the issue, and it is paramount that the data needed by PDMPs are accurate, valid. And consistent with the patients. Accurate patient data at all times can drastically reduce the opioid overdoses and bring the whole situation under control.

The biggest challenges- data quality and patient matching errors

Hospitals and health systems have been adapting EHR systems quite rapidly for the past few decades, which has helped digitize medical records. Even after all these years, proper patient identification is still a significant challenge for many. Much of the patient data have errors or are incomplete. Many of these can be traced back to duplicate medical records or overlays. According to a survey conducted by PDMP Training and Technical Assistance Center, the majority of the states are facing problems with patient records- 53% said that there are data quality issues.

Proper Patient Identification Can Help Fight the Opioid Crisis
Proper Patient Identification Can Help Fight the Opioid Crisis

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Can proper patient identification be the answer?

Accurate patient matching is the only solution- something which can identify the accurate patients within seconds. RightPatient is just that- a biometric patient identification platform. It locks the patients’ medical records with their biometric data such as fingerprints or irises. After enrollment, the patient needs only to scan their biometrics, and the platform identifies the accurate EHR within seconds. Several health systems such as Novant Health and University Health Care System are using it and are reporting enhanced patient safety, improved revenue cycle, and reduced medical identity thefts. No longer can drug abusers come in and claim someone else’s identity- the system flags them within seconds. Health systems that are using RightPatient have dramatically reduced opioid issues within their premises. Since accurate patient record matching is the key, RightPatient is the perfect solution for the problem. Proper patient identification has never been easier and safer!

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How Do Progressive Hospitals Prevent Medical Identity Theft?

There are many things we need to be concerned about to avoid any identity theft and lose a significant amount of money. Social Security Numbers, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance, and even driver’s license need to be monitored continuously to make sure these are safe and sound. Another kind of theft has been increasing rapidly in numbers- medical identity theft. However, what are the problems associated with medical identity theft, and what can hospitals do to ensure that their patient data is safe and secure from such events? Let’s explore.

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What is medical identity theft?

As a refresher, medical identity theft occurs whenever an unauthorized person takes the credentials of a patient without the latter’s knowledge and uses it for personal gain. It can be used to obtain healthcare services such as prescription drugs, treatment, as well as medical equipment. Also, as we can see in the recent news, criminals are actively targeting medical data of patients, which has contributed to the meteoric rise of medical identity theft. These cause the patients to receive medical bills with shocking numbers- tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of services can be used or stolen by the criminals. One hundred seventy-one million patient records were exposed online, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. On the other hand, the reputed Ponemon Institute estimates that patients pay around $13,500 either for the fixes or for the services used by the culprits.

How does it affect patients and hospitals?

Other than the previously mentioned financial impacts medical identity theft has on patients, it affects them in different ways as well. According to the Ponemon Institute, 3% of the patients were fired, 19% lost potential jobs. In contrast, a considerable number of patients faced embarrassment due to the exposure of sensitive healthcare data- all of which happened due to medical identity theft. It can also cause the medical data of the culprits to be embedded into the patient record. For instance, when a victim goes to their providers for healthcare services, the patient might be given treatment based on the culprit’s preferences, interfering with the preferences of the actual patient.

How Do Progressive Hospitals Prevent Medical Identity Theft?
How Do Progressive Hospitals Prevent Medical Identity Theft?

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

For hospitals, medical identity theft is equally damaging, if not worse. Half of the patients will switch their healthcare providers if their medical identities are stolen, according to the Ponemon Institute. Such an event would also impact their reputation, cause losses in millions due to denied claims, and so on. All in all, medical identity theft is a problem for everyone involved and can be very costly to fix.

How do hospitals prevent medical identity theft?

Many safeguards can prevent medical identity theft, but none are as effective as RightPatient. It is a biometric patient identification platform that ensures that the medical records are locked with the biometric data of the patients. The platform takes the biometric data such as fingerprints or irises of the patients and attaches them with the medical records. Without biometric verification, the records cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties, ensuring no medical identity theft takes place. RightPatient also ensures patient safety- the platform provides accurate medical records within seconds of scanning the patients’ biometric data. It reduces denied claims, improves revenue cycle, and saves hospitals and patients from unnecessary costs. Several pioneering healthcare providers like Terrebonne General Medical Center and Novant Health are using RightPatient. They are reducing denied claims, preventing medical identity theft, improving revenue cycle, and enhancing patient safety.

medical-identity-theft-prevention

Medical Identity Theft Prevention Enhances Patient Trust

What is one of the crucial things a company needs to ensure so that it can thrive? Is it the employees, revenue, or size? While many may answer something along the lines of the previously mentioned characteristics, one of the most critical assets a company can have is the trust of its customers. The healthcare system is no different- various health systems and hospitals are successful today only because of their patients’ trust in their services. Since it is healthcare, patients put their lives in the hands of the hospitals- trust plays a huge role here. That trust can be enhanced with medical identity theft prevention.

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According to Morning Consult, in terms of trust from consumers, healthcare lies in the middle, while insurance, finance, and real state are underneath it, whereas airlines and technology are above it.

Morning Consult conducted a study which had several respondents about their perception regarding various US brands as well as firms. From these people, a meager 16% responded that they trust health systems a lot, whereas 36% said that they believe these organizations somewhat.

Also, while ranking the most trustworthy companies, people, ideas, among other things, the respondents ranked their physicians even above notable choices such as Google, police, and leaders.

Thankfully, the report went deeper and gave areas of improvement for hospitals and health systems to build up trust among patients. When the sample of the study was asked what the most crucial factor which helps build trust towards an organization is, three-fourth of the respondents said that protecting their sensitive data was extremely important for trust-building.

All of these are straight from the customers themselves, and these are even more applicable to the US healthcare system. The health systems and hospitals need to ensure that the sensitive patient data they keep are safeguarded, especially now. Breaches seem to be very common nowadays, which leads to exposure to the patients’ confidential medical data as well as documents like medical images, medication, and so on. It costs both patients and healthcare providers alike- patients become victims of medical identity theft, whereas healthcare providers’ reputations are dented. People question the security surrounding the medical records since HIPAA requires strict safeguarding of such sensitive information.

Medical Identity Theft Prevention Enhances Patient Trust
Medical Identity Theft Prevention Enhances Patient Trust

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

These lead to losses for both patients and health systems- patients may sue the hospitals, the culprits may use the identities to avail services illegally, costing the patients a significant amount of money for services that they never used. Medical identity theft may also occur if an individual steals a patient’s medical credentials and uses it for his/her gain. In such cases, the preferences of the culprit may get mixed up with that of the patients. For instance, the patient might be allergic to certain medications, and may still receive that after the culprit uses his/her ID.

Dynamic healthcare providers such as Novant Health, Terrebonne General Medical Center, and University Health Care System are preventing such issues by using RightPatient. It is a biometric patient identification platform that locks the medical records after attaching those with the biometric data of the patients. Once a patient enrolls with the biometric data, for instance, irises or fingerprints, the records can be accessed using only the same data, creating medical identity theft prevention. The hospital can also identify the accurate patient record within seconds after the patient scans his/her biometric data for verification. RightPatient not only aids in medical identity theft prevention, but also eliminates patient matching errors, ensuring accurate patient identification, enhancing patient safety, and improving the revenue cycle as well. It saves lives as well as millions for both patients and health systems, enhancing patient trust.

lack-of-revenue-cycle-improvement-affects-hospitals

Can Revenue Cycle Improvement Prevent Hospital Closures?

So many hospitals are closing their doors that it is hard to keep count nowadays. These closures happen for several reasons which we will discuss later. One of the latest ones to join this unfortunate group is Nix Medical Center, located in San Antonio, Texas. 

The 208-bed hospital once owned by Prospect Medical Holdings was acquired in 2012 and operated by Nix Health as the Nix Medical Center for 89 years.  

In addition to closing its hospital’s doors, Nix Health also had to close its home health division as well as Nix Specialty Health Center & Nix Behavioral Health Center, generating an estimated layoff of over 970 employees. 

lack-of-revenue-cycle-improvement-affects-hospitals

But why are these hospitals being closed?

Hospitals are supposed to offer health care and save lives. Thus the most important institutions in any society. So why are they being closing down? 

Well, the largest and most common reason is the lack of revenue. 

In this instance, with fewer people visiting Nix Medical Center the hospital simply couldn’t generate enough revenue to sustain it’s operational costs thus resulting in its inability to provide effective health care and subsequently closing its doors.

What to take away from this example?

Hospitals need to learn from this scenario and focus their efforts on better financial management via reducing denied claims via revenue cycle improvement. 

Known to cost any health system an average of more than $5 million each year, denied claims often occur due to mistaken billing of patients. For example, a patient visiting the hospital for a routine checkup is billed the cost for a surgical procedure and vice-versa. While this may sound peculiar you would be surprised to know just how common it is. Although 63% of initially denied claims are recoverable, they can cost as much as $8.6 billion in appeals-related administrative costs and why hospitals must find ways to mitigate such losses.

Can Revenue Cycle Improvement Prevent Hospital Closures?
Can Revenue Cycle Improvement Prevent Hospital Closures?

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How can hospitals achieve revenue cycle improvement?

One way health systems can achieve revenue cycle improvement and lessen denied claims is by ensuring patients are correctly billed for the healthcare provided. 

To achieve this many progressive health systems are using RightPatient – a biometric patient identification platform. By implementing RightPatient, medical records are locked to each patient’s biometric data thus preventing unauthorized identity theft. 

Health systems such as Terrebonne General Medical Center and University Health Care System are already using RightPatient and are preventing medical identity theft, patient mix-ups as well as denied claims. RightPatient effectively reduces loss in revenue by ensuring each patient is billed correctly for the healthcare provided. Using biometric data, patient misidentification is also prevented. Each patient is required to register only once after a health system deploys the platform- attaching the biometric data with the EHR of the patient. Afterward, whenever that patient visits the hospital, RightPatient uses their biometric data to access their respective medical records for the previous diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment.