According to a recent report on a nationwide survey of 600 executives from U.S. hospitals, doctors organizations, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and life sciences companies, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found medical identify theft is the fastest-growing form of identity theft, affecting 1.42 million Americans in 2010, and costing more than $28 billion. Theft accounted for 66 percent of the publicly reported security breaches documented since 2009, which included stolen laptops, stolen smart phones, using patient data to submit fraudulent claims, and people seeking medical care in another person’s name. The single most commonly reported breach in the security of patients’ private health information was improper use of patient data by a person who works for a doctors office, hospital, insurance company, or life sciences organization. The breaches ranged from an employee leaving private documents out in plain sight, to making improper comments on Facebook, or even talking in the elevator about a persons protected health information. Nearly four out of 10 doctors and hospitals surveyed have caught a patient trying to use someone elses identity to obtain healthcare services. Patients seeking medical services under someone elses name was the second most common privacy or security issue reported by healthcare providers. Rounding out the top three most common breaches was improper transfer of files containing personal health data to people who were not authorized to view the information. One in four insurers reported improperly transferring files that contained protected health information.