Following the discovery of Medicare numbers for sale on the dark web, the government is set to implement tighter controls on healthcare providers and how they access Medicare information.
The new system will mean providers will need to confirm the identity of new patients, batch requests for Medicare numbers will be more tightly controlled and the public will be able to find out who has accessed their details. This will mean patients will be required to undertake identity checks when they go to a healthcare provider, reducing the risk of individuals fraudulently claiming benefits on someone else’s card. Providers will also need to gain patient consent before accessing Medicare details and provide them with information on how to request a list of people who have sought access to their details.
Batch requests from larger healthcare providers will require an application to the Chief Executive of Medicare stating the need for a limit higher than 50 card numbers per request and more than one request per day.
Most of these changes will be implemented by mid-2019.