New Medicare Cards Improve Patient Data Security


With the growing use of digital patient identification to conduct business it comes as no surprise that many people have sought to take advantage of Medicare members.

Medicare has finally decided to update their cards for members qualifying in the United States. The ubiquitous red, white, and blue card will undergo a new sleek modern look, but that's not the only reason to upgrade the cards for more than 60 million US citizens.

Instead, the issue is security. For those not familiar with Medicare Claim Numbers, it is currently the patient's social security number. In an age with the increasingly digital use of patient identification to conduct business, and purchases, it comes as no surprise that many people have sought to take advantage of Medicare members under the presumption that they are helping them.

Take, for instance, calling a patient claiming you are a medical agency looking to get data for some benefit or other information? So what do you need, address, DOB, and Medicare number (which is the Social Security number) and then you have a lot of information to use on that patient. And with that, a basic scam can be conducted.

So AARP and other organizations representing their patient groups have for years been clamoring for an upgrade—or rather a safer process. So Medicare is rolling out these new cards, which have mostly the same information on them, but now instead of the Medicare Claim Number being the Social Security number, it is a randomly generated 11-character mix of letters and numbers. This will replace current patients' Medicare numbers.

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