PHI can be valuable to criminals in many ways. One of the main ways in which a criminal can threaten a patient is through blackmail. The criminal can hint at leaking an individual’s private health information and ask for ransom.
Criminals can also use a patient’s health insurance to purchase medical equipment or obtain healthcare services.
Data laundering is another concerning issue that introduces PHI to several risks. An individual’s data is stolen and sold to businesses and repackaged claim data.
In most cases, when a patient’s PHI is stolen, the criminal is looking to assume the patient’s medical identity. This can help criminals for purchasing drugs and medical devices quickly.