Congress frees physicians from 'Red Flags Rule'

January 7, 2011

Congress passed a bill in December that exempts physicians, nurse practitioners, and non-medical professionals from the Federal Trade Commission?s ?Red Flags Rule,? which helps protect consumers from identity theft.

Congress passed a bill in December that exempts physicians, nurse practitioners, and non-medical professionals from the Federal Trade Commission’s “Red Flags Rule,” which helps protect consumers from identity theft.

The bill, the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010, amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act by exempting health care providers from implementing identity theft prevention and notification programs. Medical and other trade groups protested the regulation, claiming it would be burdensome and is unnecessary.

The FTC delayed enforcement of the Red Flags Rule on five occasions since 2007, allowing Congress to design a legislative remedy.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) introduced the bill earlier in 2010 with Sen. John Thune (R-SD).