What Does Octomom Have To Do With Identity Theft?
July 31, 2009
Octomom, Nadya Suleman, herself doesn’t have any connection with identity theft – she has enough to do already with all those little ones. However, in May 2009, the Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in Bellflower, CA was fined $250,000 for failing to stop employees from snooping in her medical files.
Octomom’s case is so popular that the hospital employees just couldn’t resist snooping some more. So on July 21, 2009, the hospital was fined $187,500 for failing a second time to protect confidential patient information.
Now how safe do you feel about your medical records at any hospital or doctor’s office you’ve been to in your lifetime?
Besides the intrusion of strangers into your medical history, apparently almost anyone can see all your personal information that can easily lead to identity theft.
It’s pretty standard for a doctor’s office to have you fill out a form on your first visit. The form asks for your date of birth which is probably reasonable because they need to know how old you are. Another standard question asks for your social security number. I can’t imagine why my doctor needs that number since I doubt he’s going to be sending me a paycheck.
You don’t have to automatically give out your SSN when you visit a doctor. Just leave that line blank. If the office insists on getting it, ask them what they need it for. Then ask them their procedures for how they keep your files secure. Remember, it’s your information, your identity and your finantial future. In our new digital, instant credit world, we all need to adapt and start protecting ourselves.