The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Medical ID theft on the rise 

By now, we've all heard about identity theft in which someone assumes another's identity to obtain credit or other financial benefits. It is, we are told, the fastest growing crime in North America. Well, now Americans have to worry about "medical" identity theft. This is where someone (presumably uninsured) assumes another's identity to obtain medical services. That's what happened to Joe Ryan of Littleton, Colorado. Ryan unexpectedly received a bill for $44,000 for surgery and then the collection agents started calling. It appears that someone used his name to have a significant piece of surgery and Ryan is left holding the bag. At least one group of hospitals in Denver has information about fifteen such cases a year.

Where ID theft can put your credit rating in jeopardy, medical ID theft can do all that and kill you: victims' medical records now reflect conditions they don't have. Somewhat ironically, the hospital in Ryan's case refused to provide him with information about the services used by the impostor since HIPAA apparently prevented them from disclosing it to him. Check out the report on Ryan's case by Colorado 9News' I-TEAM: ID theft that could be deadly. There's a video link on the 9News site, as well.

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