“Red Flag” Rules for Health Practitioners redacted

In 2007, the FTC in the United States issued a set of regulations, known as the “Red Flags Rule”.  It was meant to stop identity theft and protect consumers from fraud.  The FTC ruled that physicians were “creditors” and were required to comply to this regulation.  Mostly due to protest from physician organizations this rule compliance has been on and and off again for the past 3 years.  The latest enforcement date had been postponed to December 31, 2010.

On December 7th, 2010 the House passed S. 3987, the “Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010”.  The U.S. Senate had previously unanimously passed the bill on November 30th.  The bill is expected to signed into law by the President in time for the proposed postponement on December 31st.  If signed into law physicians will not be required to prove they have verified patient identification.  It is still recommended typical and normal attempts to verify patient identities attempted.

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