Medical identity theft is hopefully not a problem that any of us will ever have to face (but see quote below), but it does occur, and being aware of the steps that can be taken to prevent it or counteract it when it does occur would be prudent.
The first article below is from the Federal Trade Commission website, and offers advice. Much of the advice is common sense, but some of it addresses the details of such theft and is worth reviewing.
The article also has some tips on how to go about
correcting errors in your medical records should you find any, a problem likely to be more common than actual identity theft. There are also tips on how to protect your medical information.
Now that everything in the world about
us is on a computer somewhere, identity theft, medical or otherwise, may well become one of the 21st century's most serious problems. Learning how to fight it is time well spent. /www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0171-medical-identity-theft
Also, here is a Consumer Reports article detailing some of the horrors real people have experienced after their medical information was stolen. Especially surprising, and disturbing, in the article, something that one would not think of right away, is the report that in some cases it may happen that one's own medical records wind up becoming confused with the thief's, with all the trouble which that can come to cause.
Also concerning, from the CR article:"Also particularly vulnerable to medical identity theft, says Pam Dixon, executive director of the nonprofit World Privacy Forum, are new mothers, surgery patients, and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes or serious illnesses such as cancer. That’s because the more interaction you have with the healthcare system, the more opportunity for records to be breached."www.consumerreports.org/medical-identity-theft/medical-identity-theft/
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (since post-IMRT): 0.1 or lower