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Doctors and hospitals to begin checking IDs

Doctors and hospitals to begin checking IDs



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Be prepared to prove your identity at the doctor's office--maybe someday through a palm scan or fingerprint check. Utah has a new law, and the FTC will have new rules this fall for hospitals and doctors' offices. The goal is to prevent insurance fraud and possibly deadly mistakes.

It's called the Red Flags Rule. It beefs up what hospitals and doctors' offices should already be doing: checking your identity.

"This is showing that the same Mary with this Social Security number and this address; you should be 54. And you're not 54," said Deborah Wyncoop, the director of Health Policy with the Utah Hospital and Health Systems Association.

She says if someone pretends to be you, it could mean a deadly medical mistake

She explains, "If you're O negative, and that person was B positive, and they start transfusing you with what is on the old record, that could be very problematic and potentially very deadly."

Or Wyncoop says you could get the bill for medical procedures you didn't have.

She says, "Was this someone that just transposed their Social Security number unintentionally, and we can find them, versus this was someone who borrowed someone else's identification."

The FTC wants doctors and hospitals by Nov. 1 to have new protocols to spot the red flags of identity theft.

Wyncoop says Utah just passed a law about this too, saying doctors and hospitals can even check ID by picture, fingerprint or palm scan.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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