ATLANTA (March 7, 2013) – Senate Bill 170, which creates the offense of medical identity fraud and defines associated terms, passed the Senate today by a vote of 52 to 1. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Judson Hill (R – Marietta).
“When people cheat the system by using another person’s identity, medical facilities have to raise costs to recover their lost profits,” said Sen. Hill. “Unfortunately, this ultimately leads to higher insurance premiums and medical costs for honest, hardworking Georgians. By passing this legislation, we’re sending a message to would-be identity thieves that this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
SB 170 states that a person commits medical identity fraud when he or she willfully and fraudulently uses identifying information of any real, fictitious or deceased person of any age to obtain medical care, prescription drugs, health care services, money or other financial gain. This legislation would coordinate medical identity fraud with identity fraud for jurisdiction and prosecution purposes.
Under SB 170, medical identity fraud is coordinated with financial identity fraud for purposes of:
- Authorizing the State Attorney General and prosecuting attorneys to conduct criminal prosecution
- Identifying the information necessary within the county where the victim resides or is found
- Granting local law enforcement agencies the jurisdiction to compile incident reports
- Enacting punishment, including incarceration, fines, and restitution
- Allowing victims to bring actions against perpetrators, including increased damages for intentional violations
SB 170 will now transfer to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2013
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director