FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2019
PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH INFORMATION
SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department warns the public to avoid persons posing as health care workers offering free DNA or “cancer gene” testing.
Your personal information, including your name, birth date, Social Security number, medical insurance policy information, personal medical history, and DNA is protected under federal law. It should only be given to reputable health care providers in a medical setting. A reputable health care provider will advise you of your right to protect your information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, known as HIPAA.
The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a warning advising consumers against disclosing medical information to anyone offering DNA screenings. The offer may be a ploy to obtain sensitive information like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or Medicare information. Such information could be used to defraud Medicare or private health care insurers.
When Shelby County Health Department employees do outreach work in the community, they always wear a Shelby County Government ID badge. If you are approached by someone claiming to represent the Health Department or another health care provider, always:
- Ask to see an ID—it should include a first and last name, title, and official agency logo,
- Ask for the name and number of a supervisor to call,
- Call 911 if you feel threatened or coerced in any way.
Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of fraud. Protect your personal and private health care information just as you would your bank account number and credit card information.
For more information about the Shelby County Health Department and its services, please visit our website: http://www.shelbytnhealth.com/.