A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association takes on the issue of physician medical identify theft; here’s the abstract:
It took several months for one physician to learn that she was a victim of medical identity theft. This realization occurred after patients reported that her name was on their Medicare Summary Notices although they had never seen her. A fraudulent clinical practice had enrolled in Medicare using her name without her knowledge. Another physician had retired from clinical practice but decided to work part-time. Nearly 2 years after sending out job applications, he was asked by Medicare to return more than $350 000 in overpayments made to a practice he had interviewed with but never joined. The Department of Treasury began to garnish his Social Security payments for unpaid debts.
There’s also an interesting interview with one of the authors, who holds an M.D. and J.D., discussing the consequences for physicians and their patients.