Medical Records are Worth $50 Each on the Black Market

A single patient’s personal health information (PHI)  is worth $50 on the black market, according to a panel of experts at the Digital Health Conference held in December in New York city.

The panel of experts pointed out that impermissible use of patient privacy at healthcare and insurance companies are an increasing source of stolen medical data – this includes data lost or stolen by insiders such as healthcare or insurance workers.

One reason for the high value is that a person cannot cancel their own medical history, where as they can always cancel a stolen credit card number. This makes it much harder to prevent stolen medical data from being used by criminals.

Medical record data is worth $50 on the black market. Much more than Social Security numbers ($3), credit card information ($1.50), date of birth ($3), or mother’s maiden name ($6).

Impermissible use of medical data — such as electronic health records or patient financial data — is lucrative because thieves use it to submit commit insurance tax refund or credit card fraud, or other forms of identify theft – all at the patient’s expense.

The panelists explained how impermissible use of medical data is detectable by analyzing activity in electronic health record applications and other clinical and financial computer systems.

Learn how Veriphyr uses Structural Analytics to detect “impermissible use” of patient data in clinical and business applications by employees, contractors, and third parties.

Source:
(b) Digital Health Conference – Digital Health Conference, December 1-2, 2011
(a) DHC: EHR Data Target for Identity Thieves – MedPage Today – 12/07/2011