Holzer Health Systems enrolls 20,000 in biometric ID program

Since July, the Holzer Health Systems in southeastern Ohio, in partnership with biometric firm CrossChx, have voluntarily enrolled over 20,000 outpatients in its medical identity protection system.

Holzer Health Systems offers a wide and comprehensive range of services, including the advanced hospital, diagnostics, and healthcare treatment services.

As BiometricUpdate reported in July, the medical identity protection system allows pharmacists who dispense highly addictive drugs to use biometric authentication to compare health records from multiple sources to confirm the eligibility of a patient to receive a prescription.

With a two-factor combination of fingerprint and photo identification, a pharmacist is able to receive patient information and confirm a patient’s identity. The company believes the program is necessary to protect consumers accessing medical services.

According to statistics, at least 1.85 million Americans fall prey to medical identity theft each year, which costs the U.S. health care system US$43.1 billion annually. By using a biometrics identity protection system, Holzer is able to protect its customers from identity theft and loss of drug inventory that often can cost thousands of dollars per instance of theft.

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Comments

6 Replies to “Holzer Health Systems enrolls 20,000 in biometric ID program”

  1. While this biometric ID system will help curb fraud, it is not the answer in the long run. Here’s why:

    I can steal an identity and use the victim’s name when I give MY biometric. From that point forward, their system will link my biometric to the victim’s name. This will work as long as the victim wasn’t already registered at Holzer. We all know how easy it is to forge or manipulate a photo ID so that won’t be an issue either.

    A biometric only works if it has something to match against. If the victim wasn’t already in Holzer’s system to match against mine, the fraudster, I can still get away with this. As you can see, the system isn’t foolproof.

    The real solution to preventing medical identity fraud is ICONNs from TASCET. With ICONNs, no one can impersonate someone else to receive care. This is the direction identification is going.

    1. Kevin,

      This is a plausible scenario, but in fact if the biometric patient identification solution required a third party confirmation from say, a credit bureau, at the time of enrollment then it isn’t possible for you to use someone else’s identity to enroll under their identity. How would you circumvent that?

      The future of patient identification IS using biometric technology, just with the correct infrastructure and safeguards in place. That is the direction patient identification is going.

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