Received someone else's medical bill
May 24, 2010 10:19 AM Subscribe
I received someone else's medical statement with lots of personal information to boot. What do I do next?
posted by anonymous to law & government (7 answers total)
I have visited a psychotherapist on several occasions, whose office is part of a larger hospital that also handles the billing. I pay my therapist at the time of the visit, and the hospital later sends me a statement.
Yesterday, I received an envelope that was addressed to me, but inside was someone else’s statement!
The statement includes someone else’s entire list of visits since the beginning of the year, as well as their name, address, phone number, date of birth, and what looks like a social security number. (There is a field that is labeled “IRS #”, is the correct number of digits, and the first three digits match the SSN prefix range for a bordering state.)
Furthermore, I searched for the person’s name online, and someone with the same name, age, and town with a population of under 40,000 was arrested on burglary charges last year. My therapist specializes in substance abuse and addiction, though that is not why I go.
I’m obviously worried that this person or someone else received my statement with the same set of information that violates my privacy and opens me up to identity theft.
I’m already going to get in touch with a lawyer that specializes in HIPAA law. I’m going to be watching my credit report more closely now. I haven’t gotten in touch with the hospital or my therapist about it yet. Is there anything else I should be doing?
I live in New Jersey, as does the other patient. The hospital is located in New York.