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Physicians & Red Flag Rules – Finally Final; Thanks to Medical Association Advocacy

At the end of last year, Congress passed the Red Flag Rules Program Clarification Act of 2010 to change the definition of “creditor” so that doctors and other professionals would not be subject to the FTC’s identity theft red flags rules.

Now, a federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Bar Association (ABA) against the FTC’s enforcement activity against doctors, lawyers and other professionals. Organized medicine also sued the FTC and filed amicus briefs in the ABA lawsuit. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed the case because the intervening Clarification Act made the case moot.

Thanks to the work of the AMA, the OSMA and other medical societies, the FTC can no longer enforce the Red Flags rule against physicians on the basis that a physician allows patients to pay for services over time, or otherwise defers payment until insurance claims are processed.

While medical offices are not required to implement Red Flags compliance programs, it makes sense to have policies and procedures in place to mitigate the risk of identity theft targeted at patient accounts. For more information from the OSMA on this topic, including sample policies and procedures, click here.

This article was originally posted at

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