The recent news of a data breach by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has left many people wondering what to do if they think their personal information was shared with unauthorized individuals or organizations. This blog post will provide you with helpful tips on protecting yourself if your doctor has shared your data without permission. Let’s get to the details.
What Is a Healthcare Data Breach?
A healthcare data breach is the unauthorized access and release of protected health information (PHI) by a person or organization who was not permitted to do so. PHI includes your name, Social Security number, medical treatments, and test results discussed with your doctor in confidence. When such information leaks, they can use it for criminal or fraudulent purposes, putting you at risk.
What To Do If You Think Your Doctor Shared Your Data?
If you think your doctor has shared PHI with an unauthorized person or organization, the first thing to do is remain calm. It may turn out that no data breach occurred, and if one did occur, the doctor might have had good reason to share it. However, as seen at https://www.easyllama.com/blog/hipaa-complaint, you can file a HIPAA complaint if you feel that your data was mishandled. The best way to protect yourself from the risks of a healthcare data breach is to be proactive and take steps to safeguard your personal information.
Below are some steps you need to take if you feel that your doctor shared your data without permission:
Contact Your Doctor Concerning The breach
If you are unsure whether your doctor shared your data, the best thing to do is contact them. If you feel that they have mishandled PHI, file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Contact Your Attorney
If you have reason to believe that your data was released without authorization, you may want to contact an attorney. They can help you determine if any legal action needs to be taken and guide you through the process. Ensure that your attorney has all the data breach details, including when it occurred and what information was released.
Place a Fraud Alert On Your Credit File
If you have reason to believe that your personal information has been compromised, you should place a fraud alert on your credit file. This will let creditors know to take extra precautions when verifying your identity to prevent any fraudulent activity from occurring.
Check your Medical Records for Errors
Another way to protect yourself after a data breach is to check your medical records carefully. This will ensure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors, report them immediately to be corrected in time before another healthcare professional uses outdated or incorrect information.
Monitor Your Credit
If you are concerned that your data may have been compromised, it is a good idea to monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity. You can get a free copy of each of your three credit reports every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com and should check them carefully for anything out of the ordinary, such as unauthorized credit card transactions or loans you did not apply for.
Secure Your Personal Information
A data breach is often due to some security failure from your doctor’s office staff members. Ensure that all your personal information is stored in a secure place and that only authorized personnel have access to it. It would be best to password-protect your computer and mobile devices and use anti-virus software to help keep your information safe from hackers.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to protect yourself if you think your doctor shared your data without permission. By being proactive and taking these measures, you can help safeguard your personal information and reduce the risk of identity theft or fraud.
Information That Can Be Stolen in a Healthcare Data Breach
Hackers seek information such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and health insurance policy numbers. They can use this information to open lines of credit in your name, file fraudulent tax returns, or get medical treatment using your insurance.
Signs to Show You Are A Victim of Data Breach
If you are a victim of a data breach, there are sure signs that you can look out for. Here are some of the most common ones:
- You receive unsolicited mail or emails asking for your personal information
- You see charges on your credit card that you don’t recognize
- Your health insurance premium goes up
- There are unauthorized withdrawals from your bank account
- Your social media accounts have been hacked or taken over by someone else
If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately.
If you think your doctor shared your data without authorization, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. You can consult an attorney, place a fraud alert on your credit file, check your medical records for errors, and monitor your credit report for suspicious activity. By being proactive and taking these measures, you can help safeguard your personal information from being stolen in a data breach.