American Medical News Article on FTC Red Flag Rules
Amy Sorrel of AMNews wrote a recent article discussing the Red Flag Rules and the delayed enforcement: "New Federal Trade Commission regulations to combat identity theft have taken physicians and the health care industry by surprise and prompted the agency to delay enforcement from Nov. 1 to May 1, 2009."
"The so-called "red flag" rules require entities that regularly extend credit, or defer payment for services, to establish a written program for preventing identity theft as well as detecting and responding to warning signs of such thefts. The commission first released the rules last November as directed by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003."
"The American Medical Association and more than two dozen national and specialty medical associations are challenging what physicians consider the FTC's overly broad interpretation of the 2003 statute." "In a Sept. 30 letter, the groups asked the agency to clarify its position and delay enforcement of the rules until it does."
"Physicians should not be considered creditors 'simply because [they agree], after the fact, to let the patient pay in installments as opposed to turning the matter over to a collection agency or suing the patient,' the letter states. On Oct. 22, the FTC relented and announced that it would not enforce the rule for six months because it learned that certain entities were not aware that they would be subject to the regulations." For Sorrel's entire article, please see: www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/11/03/gvl11103.htm