20th Feb 2018

Government wants patients forced to show ID

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Medicare patients to show ID
Olga Galacho

Patients will need to produce identification when using Medicare services at a clinic for the first time, the Federal Government has revealed.

Responding to recommendations from the Independent Review of Health Providers’ Access to Medicare Card Numbers, the Government said producing IDs “should not be onerous, and should not serve as a barrier to health care”.

Headed by Professor Peter Shergold AC, the review was established in July, days after it was revealed that Medicare numbers were illegally being sold on the “dark web”.

The Guardian, which broke the story, reported at the time that a “darknet trader” claimed to be able to sell the Medicare details of any Australian by exploiting a vulnerability in the technology platform used by healthcare professionals.



The professionals would go onto the platform to access a patient’s details when they could not produce a Medicare card.

Following the review, there will be an overhaul of the system that stores Medicare details and of the way in which health professionals access these details.

“The Review Panel recommended several changes and improvements to existing Health Professional Online Services access controls, including transitioning healthcare providers away from the Public Key Infrastructure certificates, which enable access to Department of Human Services systems, to the more modern and secure Provider Digital Access authentication; suspending inactive accounts to prevent inappropriate use; and introducing time limits for delegate arrangements,” the Government said.

Other recommendations that have been agreed on are for health professionals to seek permission from patients before accessing their Medicare details, and that individuals are permitted to see who has sought access to their details.

Of the 14 recommendations, seven will be fully implemented by 30 June, a further four by 31 December and one by mid-2019. The two remaining recommendations do not require changes to be made.

“By providing identification, consumers will be playing an essential role in supporting the ongoing integrity of the Medicare system … The Government takes seriously its obligation to protect the significant personal information of Australians, and is working to maintain and strengthen its defences against ever more sophisticated cyber and criminal attacks.

“While the implementation of the recommendations set out below may involve short-term inconvenience during the transitional stages, it will bring greater security to a system that benefits all Australians.

“All Australians had a role to play in protecting the security Medicare information,” the Government said.

 

Opinion: Government must not be allowed to shrug off Medicare scandal

The lack of outrage following revelations that the personal data of tens of thousands of Australians was up for sale on the dark web may have lulled the Government into believing it had dodged a bullet.

If that is the case, then we should all be concerned. Despite the Government’s proclamation that it “takes seriously its obligation to protect the significant personal information of Australians”, the opposite would appear to be true for several reasons.

The first is that it took the Government almost five months to respond to the review panel’s 14 recommendations. Given that it agreed with all of the recommendations (other than the one with which it merely “agreed in principle”), it is hard to believe that the Government was “grappling” with its response.

The panel took just 11 weeks to produce simple suggestions on how the systems used to store and transmit our personal data could be made more secure. The Government took almost twice as long to respond.

Soon after the security breach, the saga was referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

An AFP spokesperson confirmed to YourLifeChoices that the investigation was still ongoing.

YourLifeChoices has also submitted a request to the Australian Information Commissioner’s (AIC) office to ascertain if it is looking into the data breach. At the time of writing we are still awaiting a response from the AIC.

From the AIC’s website, we do know that “some kinds of personal information may be more likely to cause an individual serious harm if compromised. Examples of the kinds of information that may increase the risk of serious harm if there is a data breach include:

  • ‘sensitive information’, such as information about an individual’s health
  • documents commonly used for identity fraud (including Medicare card, driver licence and passport details).

 

With or without receiving a complaint, the AIC can commence its own investigation into a breach of data. If it finds something untoward, its enforcement powers are significant. The Commissioner can:

  • make a determination requiring the payment of compensation for damages or other remedies, such as the provision of access or the issuance of an apology (enforceable by the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court)
  • accept an enforceable undertakings
  • seek civil penalties of up to or apply for civil penalty orders of up to $340,000 for individuals and up to $1.7 million for companies, and
  • seek an injunction regarding conduct that would contravene the Privacy Act.

 

No doubt, these powers are designed to ensure organisations and individuals are held to account when their actions, or lack thereof, imperil the welfare of others.

But the Government, so far, seems to be sidestepping the blame by declaring that keeping Medicare data secure is everybody else’s responsibility.

Someone needs to be held accountable for the Medicare card security breach. We entrust the Government with the most personal of our information and we need to feel secure that it cannot be hacked. The Government must not be allowed to shrug its shoulders and declare “nothing to see here”. Because for a while, there was plenty to see – on the dark web.

Have you had your private data breached? Have you been a victim of identity theft? Should the Government do more to protect our private details on its systems?

Related articles:
Medicare scare prompts review
Are your details for sale?
Identity theft hits 772,000





COMMENTS

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Raphael
20th Feb 2018
9:18am
Good idea to show ID
If it protects against fraud why not

Will render the stolen Medicare info useless
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
10:09am
They know my face there already....
Rosret
20th Feb 2018
11:11am
I agree Raphael. Interestingly though if they have stolen a medicare card they have probably stolen a wallet with ID.
Perhaps send a notification to the owner of the card that their card has been used on date, place and procedure as google does if your email is accessed from a different site. Just a thought.
jackie
20th Feb 2018
12:09pm
Definitely. Our public health system is precious and never should be abused.
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
10:09am
It's a complete farce when government has dictated that it must retain absolute control over information on individuals, and then their fortress system is full of holes to the criminal elements.

We all should know that control of information equals power in a society,so this raises countless questions about what governments are truly up to behind the scenes.

Are they simply accidental tyrants or is it deliberate?
Knows-a-lot
20th Feb 2018
10:15am
If it's the Lieberals, it's deliberate. Their swastika armbands are hidden.
Old Man
20th Feb 2018
12:20pm
If the Pentagon can be hacked, Bob, then what chance has any government to hackers who want to get into the computer systems.
HS
20th Feb 2018
12:25pm
Sometimes, strict and hard measures need to be implemented to eliminate fraud. To eliminate criminal minds from rorting any system whether its operated by the government, commercial enterprise or operated privately. This is not Nazism, this is get tough with criminals. I'm all for it.
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
12:34pm
Labor under Carr in NSW did some mighty things to 'protect' personal information - it seems they also sell it to cold callers etc... anything for a dollar.

I think this issue crosses party lines and is mostly about social control rather than privacy protection...
AutumnOz
20th Feb 2018
5:03pm
I think our gov't only wants to hide our information from us, that is the people most concerned, and leaves it's website wide open to be hacked by anyone outside Australia who likes to log on and pick a hole in the system.
Maybe we should suggest they pay for a firewall to keep the nasty hackers out of the system :-)
Knows-a-lot
20th Feb 2018
10:14am
Bloody ridiculous! I've had the same GP for DECADES. And all of his secretarial staff know me well. It's just more bureaucratic crap that we're all drowning in. Trust the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition morons to dream this up...
Polly Esther
20th Feb 2018
11:25am
please re read the very first sentence above very very slowly and if you are still finding it difficult to digest, (that is understand) then ask somebody to explain to you slowly.
Settle and have a pleasant day :-))
jackie
20th Feb 2018
12:07pm
Knows-a-lot....This is only for First Time users at a medical centre.
Triss
20th Feb 2018
12:11pm
Did that snooty and unkind remark make you feel better about yourself, Polly Esther?
Old Man
20th Feb 2018
12:27pm
Polly Esther's post was neither snooty nor unkind Triss. What would have been snooty and unkind was to have mentioned that Knows-a-lot grabbed an opportunity to denigrate the Coalition with silly, childish statements. Polly Esther didn't do that.
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
12:36pm
Yes! The LNP is quite capable of denigrating itself on a daily basis! It doesn't need the help of the peasants (ROFL emoticon implied)!!!
Raphael
20th Feb 2018
2:12pm
Have you seen Mission Impossible
Someone could be wearing a mask that looks like you
David
20th Feb 2018
10:48am
Knows a lot: please re-read the first sentence. It says ID would be required at the FIRST VISIT to a clinic.
David
20th Feb 2018
10:51am
I know of two brothers, both adults. One has private health insurance with extras, the other does not. The one without insurance needed dental work, so used his brothers name and Medicare card when he went to the dentist. Then he claimed the rebate on his insured brother's private insurance. If he had to produce photo ID, such as a driver's licence, this would prevent this fraud!
KEVINJ
20th Feb 2018
11:26am
re 'MediCare' ID Numb:- FED TURNBULL GOV-T has, a Very LONG "GONGO LINE" of Stupid, HIGHLY PAID, Community RESOURCE-S ( WASTE--FUL ) "Media Advisors" - so, Don't Expect, SECURITY, in ANY type of Gov-T "DEP-T". BEC, GOV-T "DEPT-S", are CORRUPT, - TOO. JUST LIKE AUS COURTS.. My experience(S) being IN, F E D INDUSTR RELATions COURT, several TIMES. ask Me.-BUT, i Know, - NO one, WILL.. ESP, the CORRUPT COURT &, Its 3RD WORLD pathetic, IN-SULTING "Treatment", of ME, persuing JUSTICE, - they DID NEITHER - chose To GIVE,__N O R,__ wanted TO, give ; Numerous FED JUDGES, involveD. ALL was a - HIDEOUS TIME, There. THEY ARE PROPER MONGRELS, against The PUBLIC.. &, I AM N O T even, - SCANDALising, the COURT, - but, SpeaKing, - UTTER, T R U T H. -&,- TRUTH, - WINS, OUT.. Keep Away from These PPL.- The MONGREL PathetiC "Syst", WHICH stinks, putrid, - had placed M E, - in FRONT OF, - L I A R, {{ E X }} -JUDGE, - MARCUS EINFELD. &,- FOR, his PathetiC EFFORT, NOT only, Entering, The FED Ind RELA COURT, with MARSHALL - & MOORE, EA Looking, Like, EXACT COPIES Of, the MurdeRous KLU KLUX KLANS Men - but - ALSO, for informa, FOR the ( 3 )- My Mother HAS BEEN CAUSED TO, TURN I N, - HER GRAVE, MANY TIMES, BEC- 5 (F I V E) ""JUSTICE DENIER S"" As SCOUNDRELS, WERE INVOLVED- YR S AFTER the O R I G, N. S. W GOV-T DEP-T CORRUPTION was perpetrated, USING, 2 POWER CORRUPT-ED SYDN DOCTORS - &, a 3 RD, a ( " P.h. D ) BACK STABBED ME, LATER -AS a Mongrel who had so Many BAD Reports, abt HIM, i found, on the WWW. - He was FORCED, as a MONGREL "MEDICO-- Legal, - to close his """PRACTISE """. Remember, D R S Only, " Practise ", on, US, VICTIMS. - R there any Posters, Who want to "RIP" into, my Post ? ? ? I thought NOT. - See Beginning, abt TURNBULL' S DIS-GUSTING, Community RESouRce WASTE-FUL, CONGO LINE. FRASER, had 5 "Advisors".. JERK " TURN COAT ", H A S > 5 5
<<.. He should be, in JAIL, with, Myriad, Others.
PlanB
20th Feb 2018
11:49am
KEVINJ Your way of writing is very difficult to understand
Old Man
20th Feb 2018
12:31pm
KELVINJ, your post is very difficult to understand.
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
12:36pm
KEVINJ, your post is very difficult to understand.
Charlie
20th Feb 2018
1:06pm
Self inflicted illiteracy ? Check this mans medicare card. Once the illegal immigrants would only say "me no understand" but they are getting more evasive?
KSS
20th Feb 2018
1:14pm
KEVINJ, I am sure you may have some very interesting things to say in your long posts, but they are all very difficult to read and understand.
AutumnOz
20th Feb 2018
5:08pm
KEVINJ you are making some good comments but it is very difficult to read with the change from upper case to lower case and back again.
take care,
Old Geezer
20th Feb 2018
11:30am
My daughter got two rebates from Medicare into her bank account so we went online to check what had been billed to her Medicare account. There were two visits to a doctor we have never heard of. She rang the clinic who didn't want to know about it and then phoned Medicare who didn't want to know about it either. She the discovered her Medicare card had gone missing and they just reissued her one no questions asked.

Last time I went tot he hospital emergency department I had to show ID as well as my Medicare card.
jackie
20th Feb 2018
12:05pm
This will put a stop to the medical centres that rip off our system, illegal citizens and prescription abusers.
KB
20th Feb 2018
11:58am
Whenever you attend a new clinic you have to fill out information. Now you do not even have to present your Medicare.card Just tap and go. Not surprised there fraudulent use of cards.ID is already required when you attend a new clinic.
jackie
20th Feb 2018
12:03pm
I agree. This will put an end to prescription abuse too.
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
12:38pm
So - wait one - if the cheat has already established self in a clinic, said cheat can continue to get healthcare and prescriptions, since only NEW clients need to supply photo ID etc?

OK .....................
AutumnOz
20th Feb 2018
5:13pm
.....and then the cheat can then use that medical practice or pharmacy to "prove" he or she did in fact own that Medicare card or pension card.
Not a good outcome for the original owner of the cards though, who could end up in a lot of hot water, with all the "please explains" required by our government inquisitors.
jackie
20th Feb 2018
12:02pm
A great idea. There are many illegals amongst us.
KEVINJ
20th Feb 2018
12:32pm
PLAN B, with "GREATEST RESPECT";- what u say, is wht i've Been Told, for 25 YRS. I don't know - Y. Can't U & other readers, - see, my Words are, ENGLISH. i happen to Think, i put forward, RE- "LAME BRAIN, Necer ENDing - AUS GOV-T CORRUPTion", what NO- one Else, seems, to be doing. - I have More of an, INDIVID CORRUPTION story, than EDDIE OBEID.. PLS, say,' Y', it is hard, - to under-stand. It seems to be, ENGLISH, - I write.
TREBOR
20th Feb 2018
12:38pm
You're getting there, babe - a little more articulation...
Old Man
20th Feb 2018
1:00pm
Yes KEVINJ, it seems to be English you write but..............
KSS
20th Feb 2018
1:25pm
KEVINJ, the problem is the inappropriate and overuse of capitalisation, the non-use of capitalisation where it is customary, the overuse of inappropriate abbreviations, lack of or overuse of punctuation, lack of paragraphs to signal change of subject matter, poor sentence structure and bad spelling which all conspire to make your posts very difficult to read and understand even if the language is English.

Sorry but you did ask.
AutumnOz
20th Feb 2018
5:19pm
Kevin J is speaking English and he is making sense, unfortunately my spectacles are causing problems reading it because of the change of upper and lower case.
I copy and paste into a Word document, highlight and press Shift and F3 at the same time which will convert it to lower case making it easier to understand. You may have to press Shift plus F3 a couple of times to get it into lower case
English is not his first language which is why it seems not to make sense.
Charlie
20th Feb 2018
12:41pm
I usually have to show my medicare card at the medical centre, so I don't know what the fuss is about. Is somebody producing fake cards? Illegal Immigrants?

They said that this web of intrigue was stirred up by the newspaper "The Guardian" Isn't that a non-mainstream leftist newspaper. Its one of the newspapers that I don't bother to look at on line anymore.
Gammer
20th Feb 2018
12:48pm
Why don’t we have Medicare cards with a photo on them like driving licences? Or maybe we should all have a national identity card? Only people with something to hide would resist that.
Eddy
20th Feb 2018
4:04pm
I am with you Gammer, a national identity card, ie the old Australia Card, with photo and modern anti-fraud devices (how about a digitised thumb print for a start) would be a good thing for the honest people. The dishonest people will still try to defraud but it will make it harder for them. The new ID card could substitute for medicare cards, pension card, drivers licence, gun licence, and just about anything else for which one needs a license. Apart from anything else it would save a lot of space in my wallet.
Tikitik
20th Feb 2018
1:01pm
Been seeing the same doctor for 12 yrs at the local walk in clinic . He seems to be the only ‘constant’ in the entire establishment . Frequent staff changes from medicos thru’ to admin over the yrs - which means lack of familiar faces or recognition. Subsequently on each ‘check in’ at the receptionist counter I get asked for my card and an oral response to the same questions : name , address, dob, phone number . I don’t have a problem with first visit ID requirements but I get p... off having to provide this info at the counter on each visit within hearing of other patients . Complaints fall on deaf ears . Stock standard answer “ its to avoid fraud” .
KSS
20th Feb 2018
1:31pm
Yes it can irritate having to continually provide this information but look at it from another perspective. When you go, you only have to remember a few faces, e.g. the counter staff. Those same people deal with hundreds of people between your visits which would be much harder to remember, they are new or newish so they don't have the same history you have and finally it is essential that they have up to date contact details. So many people move address and 'forget' to tell their doctor (and bank, superfund, dentist, etc) that checking at each visit is likely to find many of those forgetful patients.
Not a Bludger
20th Feb 2018
1:37pm
I agree with Raphael, Rosret and Jackie and also think that ID is necessary, both here and elsewhere eg voting.

But contrast the moaning and groaning and confected outrage when Centrelink recently went after suspected fraudsters and demanded restitutions.

Go figure!
Tikitik
20th Feb 2018
2:21pm
Yoh KSS , I totally agree with what u say . My dissatisfaction is certainly not with the counter staff who have a difficult job at the best of times. However I do believe that management could explore a more discreet process for eliciting the required ID authentification .
KSS
20th Feb 2018
2:26pm
It's when the receptionist demands to know why you want to see a doctor that I tend to object. I tell them I am not prepared to discuss my health with them or the rest of the people in the waiting room and will save any comment for the Doctor!

I have the same issues if in a bank and they expect you to discuss your financial affairs at a desk in public! Some things are just simply private.
Boof
20th Feb 2018
5:17pm
PUT PHOTO ON MEDICARE CARD. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Old Geezer
20th Feb 2018
7:00pm
No thanks.
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Feb 2018
4:13pm
Why not, OG? You among the fraudsters?
Big Al
20th Feb 2018
10:35pm
Who remembers the debate about the Australia Card during the Hawke Government years? The idea was hated by those wonderful civil libertarian cretins, and embarrassingly was canned due to lack of support by the conservatives. Hasn't that short sightedness come back to bite us all on the proverbial!!!
dreamer
21st Feb 2018
10:18am
How right you are
Radish
24th Feb 2018
5:45pm
I was all for the Australia Card and was disappointed when it did not go ahead.
Radish
24th Feb 2018
5:45pm
As stated above "Patients will need to produce identification when using Medicare services at a clinic for the FIRST TIME, the Federal Government has revealed.

However, I would be quite happy to show any ID at any time if I was required to do so...not a problem at all!

Why get all het up about it...waste of energy!!
OnlyGenuineRainey
25th Feb 2018
4:14pm
I show nothing at all at my local health clinic, where they know me well, but when I go to the dental clinic I have to produce Medicare Card and Driver's license every time. No problem! I don't see why this would be an issue for anyone.
Big Al
25th Feb 2018
4:40pm
How about your therapist? You would spend plenty of time there, OGR!


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