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'Red Flags Rule' Applicability to Physicians Challenged
AAFP Joins Motion Filed by Council of Medical Specialty Societies
By Sheri Porter
The AAFP is one of 26 medical organizations seeking to be specifically added as plaintiffs pursuant to the CMSS motion to intervene in the existing case, which seeks to prevent the Federal Trade Commission, the government agency charged with upholding the rule, from applying it to physicians.
According to an Aug. 17 notice posted on the CMSS website, the Red Flags Rule "imposes significant burdens on physicians, particularly solo practitioners and those practicing in small groups."
Norman Kahn, M.D., EVP and CEO of CMSS, said in the press release that his organization took the lead on this issue "to protect all physician members of the CMSS societies from the unintended consequences of the Red Flags Rule."
"Adhering to the policies of the Red Flags Rule would substantially drain the financial resources of physicians, particularly those whose support systems are limited," said Kahn.
The Academy's General Counsel Tom Robinett, J.D., said in an interview that the AAFP would like to see a ruling on CMSS' motion to intervene and the AMA lawsuit by the end of the year.
"A positive ruling on the case would provide a definitive decision that will apply to all physicians and will exclude physicians from the application of the Red Flags Rule and the hassles that go along with being a creditor," said Robinett.
"This rule shouldn't apply to physicians who take a credit card or bill a patient for services and thus extend credit to that patient," said Robinett. The Red Flags Rule was an outgrowth of identity theft problems associated with financial institutions and credit card companies and was never intended to include America's physicians, he added.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled in favor of an American Bar Association request to exempt lawyers from the Red Flags Rule.
Enforcement of 'Red Flags' Rule Stalls Again
Compliance Date Pushed to 2011
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Identity Theft Red Flags Rule
Federal Trade Commission: Fighting Fraud With the Red Flags Rule