BILL NUMBER: S122
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the penal law, the general business law and the state
technology law, in relation to adding medical and health insurance
information within the definitions of identity theft
This bill intends to protect individuals from medical identity theft
by including medical and health insurance information within the
definition of identity theft.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Adds medical information and health information to the definition of
identity theft in Section 190.78-79 of the penal law, Section 899-aa
of the general business law, and Section 208 of the state technology
Defines medical information to mean "any information regarding an
individual medical history, mental or physical condition, or medical
treatment of diagnosis by a health care professional."
Defines health insurance information to mean "an individual's health
insurance policy number or subscriber identification number, any
unique identifier used by a health insurer to identify the individual
or any information in an individual's application and claims history,
including, but not limited to, appeals history.
According to the World Privacy Forum (WPF) in 2006, medical identity
theft accounts for approximately 3 percent of total ID theft, which is
reported to be the fastest-growing crime over the last seven years.
Criminals now pay upwards to $50 for a stolen medical ID, in
Comparison to $1 for a social security number. Victims of medical
identity are left with few avenues for assistance as compared to
regular ID theft, partially due to the lack of knowledge regarding
Stolen items typically include patient records, documents on insurance
benefits, and passwords to medical servers. Whether it is a physician
identification number or patient identification information that is
stolen, medical identity theft is a serious problem, estimated to
effect 250,000-500,000 individuals per year.
Little assistance is provided for victims under the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Rather, the rigidness of
HIPPAA can create difficulties for victims trying to fix files that
have been altered by, identity thieves. For example, medications,
allergies and Surgeries fraudulently billed in the name of the victim
become permanent records that are hard to correct.
In addition to the hardship on patients, medical identify theft is a
costly burden on the healthcare system. According to the National
Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, of the $60 billion dollars in
health care fraud each year, 1 percent, or $6 billion per year is
attributed to medical identity.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
S.7253 of 2008 03/24/08 Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE :
This bill would take effect on the 90th day after it shall have become