Athena Health Warns about Look-alike Websites

Fraudulent Look-alike Websites

Athena Health is the secure Electronic Health Record (EHR) program that Oaklawn Medical Group uses to hold and store all the personal health information of our patients. It is also the program that is used by medical group patients to pay their bills online. Athena Health QuickPay Portal is fully protected. However, they have seen a spike in fraudulent look-alike websites.

One of the most effective and safe ways to pay your bill online is to log on to the QuickPay Portal using the Patient Portal tab located on Oaklawn’s website and click on the Oaklawn Medical Group Portal button. There are many ways that you can proactively protect your information. Always be on the lookout for red flags whenever you are inputting any personal information online.

Victims should file a police report and contact their bank and credit card company(s) to protect their accounts.

A Letter from Athena

In the past several months we’ve seen fraudulent websites emerge online that attempt to solicit payment from healthcare patients. Some of these websites seek to mimic Athena Health’s QuickPay Portal.

Our QuickPay Portal is secure. However, fraudulent look-alike websites with similar names have begun to appear in internet search results. While patients should only make online payments using the URL provided on their patient billing statements, we’ve heard reports of patients being tricked by internet search results.

We’re making significant investments to combat this problem on behalf of our customers and their patients.

Here is what we’re doing to fight back against these bad actors:

  1. Our teams are regularly searching for and taking action on imposter websites. We’re directly engaging with domain registrars and web hosting companies to take these sites offline.
  2. We’re changing our patient billing statements to reduce the potential for error and risk of online fraud. These changes include:
    • Adding an insert into patient bills with clear guidance on how to safely access our QuickPay Portal
    • Adding a QR code onto all patient bills, which we’ll encourage patients to use, so that there’s no risk of them mistyping the URL of our online payment portal
  3. We’re working with Google and other online search engines to ensure searches for our online payment portal highlight our website first. As part of this effort, we’re improving our own website’s metadata.
  4. We’re in the process of transitioning all of our online pay options to an domain. This change will help domain registrars and search engines to more rapidly remove imposter websites.

We encourage you to educate your patients about the risks of fraudulent online payment websites. Here are some warning signs that they’ve reached an imposter site:

  • The site asks for personal information (e.g. name or address) or payment balance
  • Being told to call a customer service line to process a payment
  • Receiving an error message such as “payment on hold,” “transaction pending,” “error processing your payment,” “oops,” etc.
  • Poorly translated text and instructions for using the site
  • Links to other non-athenahealth sites
  • Ads – some sites don’t collect visitor information but receive ad revenue for every visit. The athenahealth QuickPay Portal doesn’t have any advertisements

It’s incredibly frustrating that scammers create these sites to exploit people trying to pay medical bills. We’re dedicated to doing what we can to confound their efforts. If a patient believes they made a payment on a fraudulent site, they should immediately call their bank or card issuer to cancel the payment and take steps to secure their account.