PINEHURST – FirstHealth of the Carolinas (to include all FirstHealth facilities) is issuing a warning concerning medical identity theft.
We have become aware of instances in which patients and/or their family members have been contacted on the phone or in person by scammers requesting confidential information. In each instance, a person posing as a FirstHealth patient accounts representative asks for social security numbers, bank account information and other personally identifiable data. These scam calls are designed to get individuals to respond to questions and divulge personal and financial information.
As new ways to communicate and conduct business are created, consumers are targeted by scams through a variety of channels. Consumers, including FirstHealth patients, are randomly targeted by scam artists who have used the FirstHealth of the Carolinas name to lure their victims. Patients of other health systems across the state are experiencing similar scams. FirstHealth is aware and very concerned about these scams, and will provide the information we receive about them to the proper authorities to help in these investigations.
Please note that FirstHealth Patient Accounts does ask some personal questions over the phone, but only after patients have first received a bill or statement from their provider or the hospital. Below is an overview of what you can, or can’t, expect from a FirstHealth representative.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas will NOT:
- Request your full social security number.
- Visit a patient or family member’s home requesting payment of a past due bill.
- Contact customers by phone to demand emergency payment of an insurance premium for a policy that is about to lapse or to pay a bill.
- Threaten a patient to pay a bill.
FirstHealth of the Carolinas patient billing department will:
- Request the last four digits of your social security number.
- Ask for your date of birth.
- Request your guarantor (patient) number located on your patient bill or statement.
- Use a regular billing period and scheduled notices to notify our patients of any amounts owed.
- Use a third party collection agency to follow up on past due accounts. If you are suspicious, please hang up and call FirstHealth Patient Accounts at (910) 715-1010, or login to FirstHealth MyChart to pay your bill securely online.
- Call patients for pre-registration, patient experience surveys, and/or Community Health Needs Assessment surveys. If you are suspicious of any of these calls, please call FirstHealth’s Corporate Communications department toll-free at (800) 213-3284.
- We will accept payment online through FirstHealth MyChart at firsthealthmychart.org.
Additionally, FirstHealth will be conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment survey in Moore, Montgomery, Hoke, Lee and Richmond counties beginning August 20 to collect health data for each county. At the beginning of the call, a surveyor will notify participants that FirstHealth of the Carolinas has asked Professional Research Consultants (PRC) to conduct a survey about “things people do that may affect their health.” Callers will be asked for age, demographic information and household income information, but will not be required to provide their names. Should you have any concern about the survey or phone call received, please contact FirstHealth Community Health Services toll-free at (888) 534-5333.
It is advised to follow these tips regarding identity theft security:
- Do not give your full social security number to anyone over the phone.
- If you are suspicious that the phone call is from a scammer, do not share any personal information. Take note of the information they are requesting, the phone number they are calling from, and any other imperative details, and hang up and report the call to the proper authorities.
- If you have given any personal information to a suspected scam artist, please contact your bank and/or credit card companies. If you believe that you are the victim of identity theft, you should call your local law enforcement.
- If you are suspicious of a bill you received in the mail from FirstHealth, please call FirstHealth Patient Accounts at (910) 715-1010 or view your bill online at firsthealthmychart.org.
About FirstHealth of the Carolinas
FirstHealth of the Carolinas (FirstHealth) is comprised of four hospitals which include FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital - Richmond, FirstHealth Moore Regional – Hoke and FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital. FirstHealth of the Carolinas facilities also include: inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, a hospice, a palliative care program, a home care program, community outreach programs, behavioral services, fitness facilities, primary and convenient care practices, a hospitality house, EMS and critical care transport services, dental care clinics, and a non-profit insurance plan.