Obama Signs Red Flags Bill

Dom Nicastro, December 21, 2010

President Obama on Saturday signed the bill that changes the Red Flags Rule's definition of "creditor" and relieves some physicians of having to comply with the Federal Trade Commission's identity theft prevention law.

Earlier in the month, the House and Senate passed the bill officially titled "Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010."

The enforcement date for the Red Flags Rule is Dec. 31, 2010. The FTC said earlier this year on its website that it delayed enforcement at the request of Congress as it "considers legislation that would affect the scope of entities covered by the rule." Compliance date was November 1, 2008.

Red Flags calls for "creditors" to establish a program to protect patients from medical identity theft.

The bill calls for changes to the FTC's definition of "creditor." Smaller entities such as physician practices and doctor's offices have long debated they should be let off the hook from complying. Some have filed lawsuits.

Dom Nicastro Dom Nicastro is a contributing writer. He edits the Medical Records Briefings newsletter and manages the HIPAA Update Blog.
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