The Federal Trade Commissions new red flag rules aimed at preventing identity theft are generating lots of phone calls to the Medical Group Management Associations Washington office.
Its the No. 1 question were getting, said Lisa Goldstein, MGMAs government affairs representative for the groups eastern and southern section. Goldstein gave the groups annual Washington Update presentation at the MGMAs annual conference in San Diego.
The question MGMA members are asking is whether the new rules apply to physician group practices. The rules, which take effect on Nov. 1, require any creditor to implement a program to guard against identity theft of those who receive credit. The rules are targeted at lenders and are not specific to any one industry.
According to Goldstein, the issue is whether group practices or, in fact, any healthcare provider that offers patients installment-payment plans are creditors. Goldstein said that the MGMA and other national healthcare organizations have asked the FTC for guidance on the matter and that the groups expect to receive that guidance in the near future. However, Goldstein said that she wasnt sure whether providers would get that clarification from the FTC by Nov. 1.