Find-A-Code Focus Newsletter

Providers no longer have to worry about complying with Red Flags Rule

December 08, 2010

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has adopted regulations to address the detection,
prevention, and mitigation of identity theft. In particular, new regulations were adopted to
require “creditors” with “covered accounts” to adopt and implement a system of identifying
and reacting to signs of identity theft: the Red Flags Rule.

Although the original date for compliance was November 1, 2008, opposition by healthcare
professional advocacy groups and Congress have delayed the implementation of this rule
seven times. The AMA and other organizations have sued to be exempt from the rules—
mostly because providers already address the requirements of the Red Flags Rule by complying
with HIPAA.

In December 2010, the House passed legislation redefining who a “creditor” is, which basi-
cally exempts providers from the FTC rules. The legislation, which awaits the signature of
President Obama, averts enforcement of the regulations in practices that would have taken
effect January 1, 2011. Fortunately, it looks like we have one less level of bureaucracy we will
have to deal with.


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