The Federal Trade Commission delayed for the fourth time enforcement of a rule that requires financial institutions and creditors—including doctors and hospitals—to address the risk of identify theft. Regulators postponed enforcement by another six months until June 1, 2010, at the request of members of Congress, the FTC announced on Oct. 30, two days before the so-called "red flag" rules were to be enforced.
Under the rule, doctors and hospitals must develop and implement written programs to identify, detect and respond to potential identify theft. The healthcare providers accept deferred payment and are therefore covered under the rule, according to the FTC.
The latest enforcement extension pushes the date the rules are expected to be enforced 18 months beyond the original November 2008 deadline. The rules were created under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.