Rebecca Thompson is the Queensland Health Drugs of Dependence Unit (DDU) Investigations Officer and analyst.
Ms Thompson has spent many years working in the law enforcement and regulatory sectors with agencies including the Crime and Misconduct Commission, the Queensland Ombudsman, and the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian. In 2006 she commenced working as a specialist medical and coronial investigator with the Health Quality and Complaints Commission.
Since joining the Drugs of Dependence Unit in 2009, Ms Thompson has developed a particular interest in the behaviours, activities and methodologies relating to the misuse and abuse of pharmaceutical opioids and the diversion of these and other restricted substances to the illicit market.
Ms Thompson works closely with State and Federal police and other law enforcement, intelligence and regulatory agencies and is regarded as having a degree of expertise within the pharmaceutical opioid diversion environment. She is operationally and strategically involved in gathering, analysing and responding to information about the significant increase in medical identity theft and the use of hi-tech methodologies to promulgate narcotic prescription theft, fraud and forgery.
Doctor, I seem to have lost my medical identity - Can you prescribe a new one?
Medical identity theft has been identified as one of the fastest growing types of fraud in the world. In Queensland, there has been an increase in reports of fraudulent controlled drug (S8) prescriptions by community prescribers and pharmacies.
Medical identity theft has been identified as central to this type of fraud and resulting unlawful activities where an offender uses a prescriber or another person's identity to access medical services, products and information. It has been identified that these offenders actively seek opioids, psychostimulants and other prescription medications for the purpose of self- administration and/or diversion to the lucrative illicit market.
As Australia moves toward implementation of the National e-Health Strategy encompassing the introduction of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCHER), the security and privacy of an individual's medical identity and information is crucial and contentious, particularly in the context of medical identity theft.
This thought provoking presentation will explore the world of medical identity theft and the perceived risks and benefits of e-Health and PCHER's in the context of securing your medical identity. Actual DDU case studies will be used to show case how offenders utilise low and hi-tech methodologies to obtain individuals' medical identities in order to promulgate prescription fraud. The presentation will conclude with a brief overview of the current legislative and regulatory frameworks impacting on the ability of law enforcement, regulators and the private sector to appropriately and effectively deal with medical identity theft and fraud.
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