[ Saturday, June 26, 2010 ]


Red Flags and Doctors: The FTC has agreed to hold off enforcing the Red Flags Rule, which requires financial institutions and "creditors" to adopt anti-ID theft policies, against physicians until the American Bar Association's challenge is finally ruled on. Under the original rule, doctors, lawyers, and anyone else who takes payment after services have been performed may be considered a "creditor," a rather expansive reading by the FTC. The ABA filed suit against the FTC, demanding that the Red Flags Rule not include lawyers in the definition of "creditors." The American Medical Association and other physician groups instead resorted to a letter-writing campaign to keep the FTC from applying the Red Flags Rule to physicians. The ABA suit led to a quick judicial determination that lawyers are not covered by the Rule; the FTC has appealed. The AMA finally saw the light and also filed suit; the court initially required the FTC to hold off on applying the Rule to doctors until the suit was over, and the FTC agreed to delay enforcement of the Rule to at least December 1, 2010.

However, the FTC has now agreed to exempt doctors until the ABA appeal is finalized. If the lawyers win on appeal, expect physicians to be exempted as well.

Jeff [10:19 AM]

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