Medical Identity Theft, By Region
The Southeastern region of the US, particularly the states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina, and other states such as California, Nevada, Delaware, Texas, and Maryland show the most substantial growth trends of medical identity theft complaints and they are the regions or states where medical identity theft mostly occurs. No characteristics of regions or states where medical identity theft mostly happen were found even after exhaustive research from US government sources, industry sources and media sources.
We first looked into the previous request to identify the regions/states that have the most occurrences of medical identity theft. We were able to determine from the research that medical identity theft reports came primarily in the areas of Florida, New York, California, Texas, and Arizona. This was sourced from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
We used these states as the basis of our research. We planned to expand and provide a more in-depth dive into the topic and to also give hard statistical data and quantifiable data about the mentioned states and regions in the US with the highest occurrence of medical identity theft. We used the US Federal Trade Commission as the most credible source of information for the research. Specifically, we used their report titled “The Geography of Medical Identity Theft” and the "Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2018". These two reports provided the best information about regional and state level medical identity reports and complaints. We also used the World Privacy Forum Report to give us broader information about US states and regions that were considered to be medical identity theft hotspots.
We cross-referenced the data from the World Privacy Forum Report with the data from “The Geography of Medical Identity Theft” report to give us the hard data we needed to find the regions or US states that have the most occurrence of Medical identity theft. We used the Consumer Sentinel Network to find medical identity theft reports that were filed under the category of “Other Identity Theft.” Then, we found the total of the “Other Identity theft” reports in 2018 which totaled to 131,222 reports. The category also included 13,833 “Medical Services” or “Medical Identity Theft” reports. Finally, we calculated the percentage of “Medical Identity Theft” reports from the “Other Identity theft” category.
Therefore, 10.53% is the percentage of the medical identity theft reports in the “Other Identity Theft” category. We used this as the proxy for getting the approximate number of medical identity reports for each US state identified with the highest occurrence of medical identity theft. It is important to note that the values listed are a rough average of the actual data, but the values we calculated still hold significance. However, the actual value may be marginally higher or lower than the value that we have calculated.
In calculating the total number of medical identity theft reports for each state, we first indicated the total identity theft reports in 2018, alongside the percentage of “Other Identity theft” reports. We then proceeded to multiply both numbers together, giving us the total number of “Other Identity Theft” reports within the state. We then multiplied the total number of “Other Identity Theft” reports with the proxy percentage we have calculated earlier (10.53% or 0.1053). This would then result in the estimated total number of medical identity theft reports within the state.
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 37,797
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 27%
37,797 x 0.27 = 10205.19- Approximate number of “Other Identity Theft” reports in the state.
10205.19 x 0.1053 = 1074- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 73,668
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 30%
73,668 x 0.30 = 22,100
22,100 x 0.1053 = 2327- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 23,871
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 40%
23,871 x 0.40 = 9548.4
9548.4 x 0.1053 = 1005- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 5816
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 41%
5816 x 0.41 = 2385
2385 x 0.1053 = 251- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 45,030
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 26%
45,030 x 0.26 = 11707.8
11,707.8 x 0.1053 = 1233- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 6,808
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 32%
6,808 x 0.32 = 2179
2179 x 0.1053 = 230- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 6,339
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 36%
6,339 x 0.36 = 2282
2282 x 0.1053 = 240- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 8747
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 29%
8747 x 0.29 = 2537
2537 x 0.1053 = 254- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 16,296
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 23%
16296 x 0.23 = 3748
3748 x 0.1053 = 395- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 24,248
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 23%
24,248 x 0.23 = 5577
5577 x 0.1053 = 587- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
Total Identity Theft Reports 2018 = 8,853
"Other Identity Theft" Reports = 26%
8853 x 0.26 = 2302
2302 x 0.1053 = 242- total number of medical identity theft reports for 2018
From the calculations indicated above, the current US states where medical identity theft mostly occurs are in California with 2,326 reports, Texas with 1,233 reports, Florida with 1,074 reports, Georgia with 1,005 reports, New York with 587, Illinois with 395, Maryland with 254, Nevada with 251 reports, Arizona with 242 and Tennessee with 230 reports in 2018.
We then looked into the various characteristics that these states have to find why they are prone to medical identity theft. We first looked into various US government resources such as the US Federal Trade Commission and the State Office of the Attorney General. However, we were not able to find any reports, articles, or documents that are relevant to the topic. We were only able to find reports about states with the highest medical identity theft complaints, and guides about medical identity theft, how to prevent it, and actions to take if such a crime victimizes someone.
We then looked into industry sources such as Accenture, Identity Theft Resource Center, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, ID Experts Corp., Experian, and World Privacy Forum, among others. However, none of the sources provided the necessary information for the given topic. We were only able to find reports about medical data breaches, how to avoid medical identity theft, and a geography report.
We also looked into different media sources and press releases such as PRNewswire, NBC, Politico, and others. However, no news or report provided relevant information about the indicated topic. We were only able to find news about medical identity theft, general identity theft, the risks and how to prevent it from happening. After the exhaustive search, we concluded that the data for the characteristics of regions where medical identity theft mostly occur or happen is not publicly available. The possible reason for this is that the government has not yet made an overall report about the particular topic.
US Region or States with the Highest Occurrence of Medical Identity Theft
The states in the US with the most occurrence of medical identity theft in 2018 are California (2,326 reports), Texas (1,233 reports), Florida (1,074 reports), Georgia (1,005 reports), New York (587 reports), Illinois (395 reports), Maryland (254 reports), Nevada (251 reports), Arizona (242 reports), and Tennessee (230 reports). Moreover, Medical identity theft runs rampant in California. It is claimed that 19% of overall data breaches in California is medical identity theft and that a staggering 18 million records were stolen in 2016 alone.
The World Privacy Forum Report stated that medical identity theft is growing within the US. Furthermore, consumer complaints data showed that large groups of the US southeastern region present significant medical identity theft hotspots. Data from 2008-2009 discussing city level medical identity theft identified significant concentrations of complaints about medical theft in the areas of Northern and Southern California; Phoenix, Arizona; many cities within Florida and South Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and all the areas in the eastern seaboard. There are also some outlying hotspots located in Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; the Vancouver-Portland metro area; and the largest cities located in Texas.
In a report based on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 2013-2017 consumer complaint data, showed the same places as the ones reported in 2008-2009. These medical identity theft hotspots include Florida, California, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. Additionally, it is concluded that population density affects complaint report significance. This means that since these areas are densely populated, there is a higher chance for a complaint to be filed or received. A more specific report, which used the rate per one million method, helped to visualize and even the impact of population density on complaint report significance. The report included the states of Tennessee, Nevada, Delaware, South Carolina, and New Mexico, to be the prime spots for medical identity theft for the years 2013-2017. Moreover, there is a dramatic increase of medical identity theft in 2017, in areas such as Iowa, Texas, Nevada, and the states located in the eastern seaboard are affected by this increase of complaints.