A file containing identifying information for every physician in the country contracted with a Blues-affiliated insurance plan was on a laptop computer stolen from a BlueCross BlueShield Assn. employee. It is not yet known whether any identity theft has resulted from the data breach.
The file included the name, address, tax identification number and national provider identifier number for about 850,000 doctors, Jeff Smokler, spokesman for the Chicago-based Blues association, said Oct. 6.
So 850,000 doctors could potentially be at risk. But this is what happens when you sign contracts with companies exempt from anti-trust issues. They take over the country, create monopolies, and make possible this type of massive data loss and potential identity theft. But remember…if a patient has their medical information stolen, what are the ramifications? That information would have to get into the hands of someone who can harm them financially, like an insurance company who denies them coverage or an employer who decides not to employ them.
What happens to a doctor who has their identity stolen? What happens when someone figures out a way to write prescriptions in that doctor’s name? His/her ability to practice medicine, make a living, support their family, pay off $250K in med school debt is at stake. And don’t forget the legal fees required to defend themselves considering that anyone anywhere can complain to any state’s Department of Health and cause thousands of dollars of legal fees just to be investigated.