No “Red Flags” for SLPs, Audiologists Under legislation passed and signed into law in December, private-practice speech-language pathologists and audiologists are no longer considered “creditors” and are therefore exempt from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Red Flag” rules designed to prevent identity theft. Prior to the enactment of the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010, ... Policy Analysis
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Policy Analysis  |   February 01, 2011
No “Red Flags” for SLPs, Audiologists
Author Notes
  • Kate Romanow, JD, director of health care regulatory advocacy, can be reached at kromanow@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5671.
    Kate Romanow, JD, director of health care regulatory advocacy, can be reached at kromanow@asha.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5671.×
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Policy Analysis
Policy Analysis   |   February 01, 2011
No “Red Flags” for SLPs, Audiologists
The ASHA Leader, February 2011, Vol. 16, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.16022011.3
The ASHA Leader, February 2011, Vol. 16, 3. doi:10.1044/leader.PA2.16022011.3
Under legislation passed and signed into law in December, private-practice speech-language pathologists and audiologists are no longer considered “creditors” and are therefore exempt from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Red Flag” rules designed to prevent identity theft.
Prior to the enactment of the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010, health care providers were considered creditors if they did not require patients to pay for their services in full at the time of service; as creditors, they would have been required to implement a policy to prevent identity theft by Jan. 1, 2011.
The new law clarifies the meaning of “creditor,” limiting it to those who obtain or use consumer reports in connection with a credit transaction; furnish information to consumer reporting agencies in connection with a credit transaction; or advance funds to or on behalf of a person based on an obligation to repay the funds.
The most relevant section of the law excludes those who advance funds to a person for expenses incidental to a service provided to that person. Under this clarification, health care professionals who do not receive payment in full are not considered creditors.
The law, however, does allow the FTC to designate creditors if it determines that a person offers or maintains accounts that are subject to a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft, and the FTC considers medical identity theft (e.g., using someone else’s health insurance to receive services) to be a problem that may be on the increase. ASHA will continue to monitor FTC rules on this law.
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February 2011
Volume 16, Issue 2