Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft occurs when a person uses someone else's name or other aspects of their identity, without permission, to obtain medical care or receive payment for care or medical supplies.

When this happens, the identity theft victims — or their insurance companies — are billed for services they did not receive. Outside of the financial aspect, medical identity theft also causes confusion because medical information about the person who used the theft victim's identity is now documented in the victim's medical record. Inaccurate medical history can put each of the involved persons at risk.

At Adventist Health Bakersfield, we uphold privacy and the confidentiality of our patients' medical and personal information. We respect and protect patient information and take precautionary steps to protect your medical records and privacy.

To accomplish this, we keep an open eye for inconsistencies in medical records. Some of these include:

  • Basic information that doesn't match information we already have in our system, such as a date of birth.
  • Identification papers that look like they were altered.
  • Calls from patients reporting that they received a bill for services they never received.

Each time a person in a non-emergency situation visits our facility for treatment, we will request photo identification, such as:

  • Driver's license
  • State-issued ID card
  • Passport
  • Other photo ID (employment, military or school ID)

When we treat patients who are minor children and do not have photo identification, we will obtain requested identification from his or her parent, guardian or responsible party.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft involving your health information, please contact Patient Financial Services at (661) 869-6800.

We also encourage you to use the Medical Identity Theft Response Checklist which includes a number of steps that you should take to help protect yourself and your health information.