The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has now announced that it will postpone the enforcement of the red flag rules until November 1, 2009. The red flag rules require creditors, including physicians and hospitals, to adopt written plans for tracking and responding to indicators of identity theft in their billing operations. The move to extend the August 1, 2009 deadline is the third time the FTC has changed the enforcement date. The agency is again promising additional resources and guidance. Initially, the rules were intended to be enforced beginning in November 2008, but the agency offered a reprieve in response to significant confusion about the rules. The FTC continues to maintain that hospitals and physicians are creditors for the purposes of the red flag rules because they accept deferred payment for their services.
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