Recognized for its expertise in managing critical communications for healthcare, Standard Register (NYSE:SR) has introduced a new solution that assures the accuracy of one of the most critical data points in medical records – the patient’s identity. A vital component in Standard Register Healthcare’s suite of patient access solutions, the Identity Authentication Solution offers healthcare providers an efficient, reliable way to validate patient identities and verify addresses as they are admitted for care.
Medical identity theft is one of the fastest growing types of fraud in healthcare. It’s expected that 1.85 million people in the U.S. this year, up from 1.49 million a year ago, will become victims according to a 2012 study by the Ponemon Institute. The study estimates medical identity theft costs the U.S. economy $41.3 billion annually.
“Medical identity theft hurts everyone,” says Sonya Lemmerbrock, who manages Hospital Workflow Solutions for Standard Register Healthcare. “Victims are hurt financially and their medical records are compromised. Providers are left with unhappy patients, bad debt and soiled reputations. And fraudsters, themselves, are at serious medical risk when they assume the identity of a victim with specific medical problems. Therefore, we’ve configured a simple solution aimed at authenticating a patient’s identity and reducing the associated problems it creates,” she said.
Medical identity theft takes many forms. Standard Register Healthcare’s Identity Authentication Solution targets the fraudster who assumes another person’s identity to secure medical care. The Web-based application enables the hospital registrar to conduct a real-time search of public and proprietary databases to compare and verify whether the personal information provided on the patient’s driver’s license or other government-issued ID is accurate or not. Within seconds, a report is generated, allowing the registrar to note any discrepancies and take appropriate action.According to Lemmerbrock, the application also has a substantial impact on efficiency. By automatically verifying patient demographic data and auto-populating that data to the hospital’s health information system improves data accuracy and downstream processes, thereby reducing administrative costs, payer denials and bad debt write-offs.