One of my clients had a voice mail from someone called “Brad”, saying that he was with an organization called Anovalom (or something to that effect), on behalf of Anthem (the giant insurance company). “Brad” told my client that they need records of some Anthem members my client – a mental health therapist – was seeing.
My client asked me to follow up; he had no intention of handing over Protected Health Information (PHI) without a written release of information from both his client(s) and from Anthem allowing this.
I first checked the number on the web: 1-844-689-9764. I couldn’t find anything except a bunch of what appeared to be scam sites.
Then I went through the Anthem website, searching for a reference to the so-called company given in the voice mail. I could have misspelled it, but nothing popped up in any of my search configurations.
Then I called the number itself, and got the message “The number you called is no longer in service”.
My advice, of course, is to beware! This may be an attempt to collect social security numbers and dates of birth for obviously nefarious (illegal, unethical and other not very nice) reasons.
Never, ever give out personal data (yours, or anyone else’s) without first verifying the legitimacy of the caller.
Of course, if this was for real, and Anthem really was asking for those records to insure that the service being billed for was indeed being provided, the clinician would be expected – actually, required – to send copies to Anthem per his contract. This is allowed under HIPAA (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1995).