October 30, 2009
Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would further delay enforcement of its “red flags” identify theft rule, which would have gone into effect this Saturday, Nov. 1. The new compliance date is June 1, 2010.
Thanks to many ADA and CDA members contacting lawmakers, the FTC has granted this extension to assist small businesses. This latest extension of the enforcement moratorium gives more time to build support in Congress for a bill that would permanently exempt most dental offices from the rule.
The Red Flags Rule requires financial institutions and creditors to develop written plans to prevent and detect identity theft. The FTC has interpreted the rule to apply to dentists and physicians as creditors when they don’t receive payment in full from their patients at the time of treatment. The ADA believes that characterizing dentists as “creditors” in this context is incorrect and has pursued legislation to correct the misapplication of the rule.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would exempt small businesses, including most private practice dentists, from the Red Flags Rule. The bill, H.R. 3763, would provide an exemption for healthcare, law and accounting practices with 20 or fewer employees and give the FTC the flexibility to waive the rule for other industries and professions.
The bill is now before the U.S. Senate for consideration. The Senate must also pass the bill before the permanent exemption will take effect. Please take 5 minutes to write your senators and urge their support of this bill. Your participation is critical. Click here to write your legislator now!