Jefferson Healthcare warns of scam

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Healthcare has received reports of unknown entities calling patients and fraudulently posing as Jefferson Healthcare or Medicare employees, according to a hospital press release.

The callers state that they know the patient has received services at Jefferson Healthcare hospital and attempts to obtain a Social Security number or other insurance information for billing.

There are no reports of patients providing the solicited information to the bad actors, according to Amy Yaley, hospital spokesperson, in a press release.

Medicare will never call a patient and ask for this information, she said. And although Jefferson Healthcare staff may call a patient for additional information, employees use two patient identifiers prior to discussing any patient information over the phone.

“Jefferson Healthcare’s highest priority is to protect our patients’ medical information,” said Debra Tesch, a registered health information administrator who is Health Information Management and privacy officer at the hospital.

“We have placed many safeguards in both our electronic medical record and staff education to ensure our patients feel extremely secure that we will protect their medical and financial data when using our services,” she added.

“We want to be sure our community knows about these bad actors as they are focusing their efforts to our most vulnerable, our elderly population.”

Jefferson Healthcare cannot track the calls through its IT/phone software due to government laws on tracing phone data by outside companies, according to Yaley.

Reports indicate these calls are coming from South Africa, she said.

Anyone who receives such calls is asked to call Tesch at 360-385-2200, Ext 2489.

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