Identity theft prevention programs now a must

New federal regulations will require most dentists who extend credit to or arrange credit for their patients to have a written identity theft prevention program in place by November 1, 2008, according to an ADA news story.

The so-called "Red Flags Rule," mandated by a 2003 fair-credit law and issued in November 2007, requires U.S. financial institutions and creditors to have written programs to detect and respond to activities that could indicate that an identity theft has taken place.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued guidance stating that the rules will apply to healthcare providers who provide or arrange for credit. The agency explains that by deferring payment -- for example, sending a bill or establishing a post-treatment payment plan -- a healthcare provider is considered a creditor under the rules.

The ADA is now asking the FTC to clarify how these regulations will affect dental practices, according to the ADA story. The association will provide additional information as it is obtained.

Copyright © 2008

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