Expert Advice On Patient Identification and Fraud Prevention

Use of stolen or fraudulent information to obtain healthcare services is a growing problem throughout the United States, but Notaries working in healthcare are in a position to help prevent this problem. The Healthcare Professionals Section spoke with Lorraine Fernandes, IBM’s global healthcare information technology and identification management expert, to discuss possible fraud prevention solutions.

What are the common types of patient ID fraud healthcare facilities encounter?
Patients or their family members may present fraudulent insurance cards in order to financially qualify for healthcare services. They may provide secondary ID to try and support these fraudulent cards, or have no secondary ID at all. Patients may also seek to obtain services for free by simply present fraudulent data such incorrect birthdates, addresses, or Social Security numbers. Another form of fraud is where a person uses someone else’s data to change their identity.

What steps can Notaries or other healthcare professionals take to prevent this type of fraud?
Requesting supplementary photo ID is a key way to ensure accurate identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued documents… Before an elective procedure, patients typically present ID for pre-admission testing, insurance verification and other paperwork. This is a time where presenting photo identification and appearing before a Notary can serve as confirmation the patient is genuine and that the appropriate paperwork was signed in the presence of the Notary. In the case of emergency room treatment, there is a regulation for non-profit facilities to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay. Once treated, the patient or family may need to complete paperwork and have identify verified, and for this the Notary process may prove useful.

Non-Members: The complete transcript of this interview — as well as additional in-depth coverage of issues related to Notaries working within the healthcare industry — is available exclusively to NNA Section Members. Find out how to become a Section Member.

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