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Secure ID Coalition Blog

Stolen Social Security Numbers and Medical ID Theft in Medicare

According to a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General, over a quarter of a million Medicare beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers have been compromised.  In the report, HHS - which uses beneficiary’s Social Security numbers as their personal account identifier - shockingly concludes that Medicare cannot issue impacted beneficiaries new Medicare numbers. This inability to make a straightforward and simple remedy creates a gap in security that can leave the harmed seniors at risk for medical identity theft, which in turn can result – ironically enough – in denied medical coverage. The report notes that while assigning new Medicare numbers would greatly assist beneficiaries, Medicare will not take this simple step. For more information, please see Wednesday’s USA Today article.

 

Social Security numbers and Medicare Cards


Earlier this month, a woman at the Democratic National Convention was caught waving her Medicare card on national television. This seemingly innocent action exposed her to identity theft because her Social Security number is clearly displayed on the front of the card. This incident prompted many to ask why Medicare cards still show Social Security numbers? For more information, please see the New York Times article.

 

CNBC Expose on Medicare Fraud

Medicare and Medicaid fraud is conservatively estimated at $80 billion a year. CNBC’s Scott Cohn spent six months with the joint strike force investigating and taking down the criminals who defraud the Medicare and Medicaid systems, stealing tens of billions of dollars from American taxpayers every year. His expose on Medicare and Medicaid Fraud in America, titled, Health Care Hustle, looks at what is being done to stop this fraud and if the efforts are working. It will air on CNBC on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 8pm EST. For more information, please see visit the CNBC Website.

 

Update - Mobile Payments Hearings

On Thursday March 22, 2012, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing on mobile payment entitled The Future of Money: How Mobile Payments Could Change Financial Services. Randy Vanderhoof, the Executive Director of the Smart Card Alliance testified at the hearing, emphasizing the evolution of mobile payment technology and its impact on future financial services. His full testimony can be found here.

 

Upcoming Hearing: “The Future of Money: How Mobile Payments Could Change Financial Services”

The House Financial Services Subcomittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 10am in the Rayburn House Office Building room 2128. The hearing is titled, "The Future of Money: How Mobile Payments Could Change Financial Services." For more information please visit the House Financial Services Webite.

 

Secure ID Coalition Applauds Introduction of Medicare Common Access Card Act

The Medicare program is plagued with fraud, estimated by the Department of Justice to be $60 billion a year. Yesterday Senator Mark Kirk (R- IL) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced The Medicare Common Access Card Act, a bill to prevent fraud before it happens, saving taxpayers billions.

 

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