On October 22, 2008, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suspended enforcement of the new “Red Flags Rule” until May 1, 2009, to give financial institutions and creditors, including various health care providers, additional time to develop and implement written identity theft programs. Under the Red Flags Rule, financial institutions and creditors with covered accounts must have identity theft prevention programs in place to identify, detect and respond to patterns, practices or specific activities that could indicate identity theft. Federal law defines a “creditor” as any person who regularly extends, renews or continues credit or any person who regularly arranges for the extension, renewal or continuation of credit.
The American Medical Association (AMA), along with numerous other physician organizations, have asked that physicians be excluded from the definition of creditor. According to an AMA letter to the FTC chairman, some staff attorneys at the FTC have taken the position that physicians are “creditors,” and therefore subject to the Red Flags Rule, if they do not require full payment up front at the time they see the patients, but rather bill patients after the physician’s services are rendered. The broad definition of creditor would likely encompass other health care providers, including hospitals.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP will continue to monitor this development and will provide additional information regarding policies and procedures that may be necessary.
For further information, please contact Roy M. Bossen or your regular Hinshaw attorney.
This alert has been prepared by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. It is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is Pleased to Announce its 2008 Health Care Conference
Who Should Attend
We are in the process of applying for CLE credit for this conference for attorneys.
There is a $75 non-refundable fee to attend this conference.
To register for this event, please click on Register. A detailed brochure will be mailed mid-September.
For more information, please contact the Conference Planner, Katherine McCormack, at 312-704-3329.