Data Theft of Patient Records

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SALISBURY, MD -- As many as 100,000 patients of Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates are being warned to protect themselves against identity theft after tapes containing patient information were stolen.

In a letter mailed this week, Chief Executive Officer Brian K. Mathias told patients they should place 90-day fraud alerts on their accounts at the three major credit bureaus.

Patients also were advised to keep an eye on benefits statements from their health insurance companies since they may also be at risk for medical identity theft. MORE

On the Peninsula Orthopaedic website it states;

Patient Notice: On 4/6/09, we mailed notice to our patients of a theft of data that included personal information.  This was a bona fide notice and not a hoax.  If you have received one of these letters and have questions,  you can call us at 1-877-860-1892.

You can obtain information about how to avoid identity theft from the office of the Maryland Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202, 1-888-743-0023, .

If you think you may have been placed at risk by this breach or any of the recently reported data breaches, take steps now prior to being learning of an identity theft!

Medical identity theft doesn't just do a number on your credit report it can also leave potentially deadly information in your medical file! I've often written about the various forms of identity theft but medical identity theft is something that can cost you more than money - it can cost you your life.

If a thief tampers with your medical records, (or your kids) charts could have the wrong history, wrong blood types and inaccurate diagnoses. Those errors can cause serious trouble when you do need medical care. For tips on what to watch out for see earlier blog.

Take control of your identity -before someone else does!

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