Preventive Measure for Identify Theft Goes Into Effect at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

July 3, 2009

 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is enhancing its medical identify theft program, and patients will be asked to show a government-issued photo identification to make sure the right person is being treated or admitted.

 Patient safety at Wake Forest Baptist goes beyond making sure the right tests are ordered or that the correct medicine is administered. It’s also about keeping patients’ medical identities safe as well, officials said.

“We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure we are always treating the right patient with the right treatment so we are enhancing our efforts by asking for a government-issued photo ID when patients are registered,” said J.T. Moser, chief privacy officer of the Medical Center.

Even before the 2006 North Carolina Identity Theft Act was passed, Wake Forest Baptist had a medical identity theft program in place. Because the Federal Trade Commission has recently issued new ID theft rules called Red Flag Rules, the Medical Center is taking this opportunity to further enhance its program to better ensure that the right person is being treated. Red Flag Rules are instructions regarding how businesses should handle and respond to identity theft. 

“We look at the new FTC initiative as an opportunity to better educate our staff and patients regarding our identity theft program as well as to make our program a comprehensive Medical Center policy that includes certain items required by the new Red Flag Rules,” said Moser.

The Medical Center rolled out its enhanced program beginning this week. Patients who have scheduled appointments have received notices in Medical Center communications asking them to please bring a government–issued photo identification card, such as a driver’s license, to all appointments to ensure their medical safety and privacy. Also, signs are posted in reception, registration and admission areas that remind patients to be prepared to be asked for their photo ID.

“If you or a family member has ever been the victim of identity theft, you understand the initial shock and then the frustration of getting the mistakes corrected. Imagine that instead of a credit card record, it’s your medical record,” Moser said. “We are working hard to make sure that patients’ privacy and their identities are protected at Wake Forest Baptist.”

If anyone has any questions about the Red Flag Rules, please call the Privacy Office Hotline at 713-HIPA (4472) for more information.

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