Just over an hour ago, the Federal Trade Commission extended the Red Flags Rule deadline from this Sunday, November 1, to June 1, 2010.
As you may remember, the Red Flags Rule would require any business that may provide credit to customers (including dentists) to take certain steps to guard against identity theft. A “red flag” is an event, document, information, or attempted transaction that would alert a dental practice of possible identity theft.
This extension is a huge victory for MDA members. A link to the Federal Trade Commission’s Alert on this subject can be found at:
In addition, the ADA has been working diligently to challenge the Rule’s applicability to small health care providers such as dentists. Grassroots advocacy initiatives by the ADA have resulted in last week’s successful passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of H.R. 3763, a bill that would exempt small businesses, including private practicing dentists, from having to comply with the Rule. The ADA is seeking similar Senate legislation to assure final congressional passage and enactment of a law excluding Red Flags Rule guidelines for certain businesses, including a health care practice with less than 20 employees. Watch for future email notices from the ADA and the MDA for updated information on this legislation.
This is great news and a great victory for the dental profession and other small businesses.
As a reminder, the ADA has developed a step-by-step guide to help dental offices prepare and implement the requirements of the Rule in an efficient manner if it becomes necessary. Available as a no-cost benefit to members, this guide should significantly reduce the time and cost associated with implementation of the Rule. A link to the guide can be found on the MDA’s website at www.mndental.org/dentist_home under New Resources.