A recent survey by IT experts Accenture reveal that 26% of US consumers have had their personal medical information stolen from technology systems, half of these breaches resulting in out-of-pocket costs of an average $2,500.
The survey of 2,000 US consumers also found that breaches were most likely to occur within hospitals, followed by urgent-care clinics, pharmacies, physicians' offices and health insurers. Half of victims found out about it themselves, through their credit card statement, with only 33% alerted by the organisation where it occurred.
Most often the stolen identity was used to purchase items, nearly one-third had their social security and contact details or medical data compromised, but victims of medical identity theft often have no automatic right to recover their losses.
91% of the consumers who were data-breach victims took some type of action, changing healthcare providers, insurance plans or sought legal advice. Only 12% reported the breach to the organisation holding their data.