Thursday, May 7, 2009

Are Your Medical Practices Compliant With the “Rules”?

We are reaching out to all our readers in the medical field to alert them about the August 1st, 2009 deadline (recently extended from May 1st) associated with the “Red Flags” Rule enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as compliance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).

You may know that in order to fight identity theft (the fastest-growing crime in the U.S.), Congress added new sections to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it passed FACTA in 2003 — in which privacy, limits on information sharing, new consumer rights to disclosure and accuracy are all addressed.

While the American Medical Association (AMA) has sought exemption from compliance for physicians and medical organizations, the FTC recently made it very clear that industry-based exclusions are not allowed.

These provisions have created serious new responsibilities for our physician clients as well as potential liabilities (both financial and legal).

What does this mean for our industry? By August 1st, you need to have formal, written procedures in place outlining how you plan to protect the identity of both your own employees and your patients.

If you need more information or have not met compliance for these procedures, contact us for assistance.

We can also put you in touch with some of the experts we have been working with to address identity theft protection for our own employees at Neltner Billing.


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