Medical groups oppose federal identity theft policy

Nancy L. Perkins of Orthpedics Today reports:

Health care professionals are potentially at risk of federal sanctions if they had not implement a written program to prevent identity theft by August 1. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), health care providers who regularly bill patients for services after they are rendered are “creditors” within the meaning of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), and thus must establish a comprehensive identity theft prevention program as required by the FACTA “Red Flags Rule.”

In an extended enforcement policy statement issued on April 30, the FTC acknowledged that many entities subject to its jurisdiction, including members of the health care industry, are still uncertain whether they could be categorized as “creditors” under the rule.


The American Medical Association (AMA) and a large group of other medical associations believe the FTC’s position with respect to coverage of health care professionals is misguided, and also object to the manner in which the agency promulgated the Red Flags Rule. They wrote to the FTC last year to voice their objections, and subsequently met with commission staff to discuss their concerns.

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