Congress frees doctors from 'Red Flags' rule

December 17, 2010

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

The U.S. Congress passed a bill in December that exempts doctors, nurse practitioners, and non-medical professionals from the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC'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 healthcare 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 5 occasions since 2007, allowing Congress to design a legislative remedy.