FTC's identity theft rules get a new deadline

Last week we told you about the FTC's new "red flag" rules designed to prevent medical identity theft. The rules, which impose new administrative requirements on any creditor--including hospitals--may slow down identity thieves, but some are predicting that they're likely to cause a hassle for hospitals. That being said, this week we're happy to report that the government has given everyone a six-month extension on meeting the new requirements.

The FTC has announced that the deadline is now May 1, 2009, as opposed to the previous deadline of November 1 of this year. This was in part due to the large number of institutions (including hospitals) that may not have been aware that the rules applied to them. The "red flag" rules require all creditors to have a policy to prevent identity theft in effect; hospitals and health care providers fall under the rules because they regularly extend credit to patients.

To learn more about the rules and the extension:
-read this Healthcare Finance News piece