House exempts care providers from installing ID theft programs

Healthcare providers are one step closer to being exempt from installing medical identity theft programs after the House voted Tuesday night to grant them relief from a Federal Trade Commission rule.

The House voted to exempt healthcare providers and certain other businesses from the red flags rule, which requires creditors to install identity theft detection and monitoring programs. The bill, which passed the Senate last week and passed by voice vote in the House, reverses an FTC assertion that healthcare providers should qualify as creditors because they sell a product or service for which a costumer can pay later.

Wrangling over the red flags rule resulted in years of implementation delays and legal challenges. The rule was scheduled to go into effect by the end of the year.

The bill now awaits the president’s signature.

The American Medical Association praised Congress for supporting “AMA’s long-standing argument to the FTC that physicians are not creditors,” AMA president Cecil Wilson said in a statement.

”This bill will help eliminate the current confusion about the rule’s application to physicians,” Wilson said.