Doctor’s office employee charged with identity theft, stole patient’s social security numbers

Louisville,Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s proof that identify theft can strike at the places where you should feel most safe. Erika Bradford’s facing charges of ID theft after allegedly stealing patient’s social security numbers at the doctor’s office where she worked. Bradford then opened credit cards in the victim’s names.

We’ve all filled them out – new patient forms that ask for your address, your social security number, your birthday and sometimes your spouse’s personal information. You trust your doctor with your life; you’d think you could trust them with that information. But can you trust the doctor’s staff? And what’s being done to make sure your identity’s not stolen during a check-up?

“Do you ever wonder how you’re being protected against identity theft?” WHAS11’s Adrianna Hopkins asked Fred Veatch.

“Usually you feel alright there, at a doctor’s office,” says Veatch.

“No I’ve never given it that much thought to be honest with you,” said another lady.

“They’ve got everything – social security, address, birthdays, insurance… Everything,” says Andreana Mills.

‘But if you had any doubts, what would you do? You know what I mean?” asked Veatch.

Yes! Because most doctors require that information before they treat you. But some offices like Deer Park Family doctors realize just how vulnerable paperwork makes patients.

“This is what we keep in files,” explained Dr. Terry Weiss of Deer Park Family Doctors who showed us a cabinet full of brochures. “We use electronic medical records. We can make sure there are no charts with patient names on it.”

“Who all has access to that database?” asked Hopkins.

“The licensed professionals in the office. We certainly understand people’s concern. Many people don’t want to give their social security numbers because of the ID theft issue. So we give them makeup numbers. We have to give them a number though because everything’s accessed by numbers now,” explained Weiss.

“That’s one way you protect against ID theft… Any other ways?” Hopkins asked.

“Yes, we have raised counters to people can’t see any notes with patient names on them.”

“And you trust everyone in your staff?”

“Absolutely… Absolutely,” said Weiss.

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