‘Red flags’ rule de­layed again as Congress mulls ex­emp­tions

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion an­nounced that it will be de­lay­ing en­force­ment of its “red flags” rule through Dec. 31, while Congress con­sid­ers leg­is­la­tion that would ex­empt physi­cian, at­tor­ney and ac­count­ing of­fices with fewer than 20 em­ploy­ees from hav­ing to com­ply with the reg­u­la­tion that calls for banks and “cred­i­tors” to have writ­ten plans in place to pre­vent, iden­tify and mit­i­gate iden­tity theft. The FTC had set a dead­line of June 1 for com­pli­ance. A bill with such ex­emp­tions passed the House in Oc­to­ber, and a sim­i­lar mea­sure was in­tro­duced in the Se­nate last week. The FTC had clas­si­fied health­care prac­tices as “cred­i­tors” be­cause pa­tients nor­mally do not pay in full for health­care ser­vices at the time they are de­liv­ered. The red flags rule went in ef­fect Jan. 1, 2008, and a com­pli­ance date was orig­i­nally set for Nov. 1, 2008, and sub­se­quently moved back to June 1, 2010. The FTC said that, if Congress passes leg­is­la­tion lim­it­ing the scope of the red flags rule with an ef­fec­tive date ear­lier than Dec. 31, the agency will be­gin en­force­ment as of that ef­fec­tive date.

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