Revenue Cycle

Small healthcare entities need Red Flags the most

Patient Access Weekly Advisor, November 4, 2009

Small healthcare entities are more likely to have patients who are victims of identity theft. So why exclude them from complying with a mandatory identity theft prevention program?

Randy Berry, B.A., C.P.A., financial leader and Red Flags Rule compliance expert with Columbus Healthcare & Safety Consultants in Columbus, OH, asks that very question.

“The biggest concern that I have is … the smaller the practice, the less internal controls they have and the more apt the smaller practices are to have identity theft," says Berry, author of the Red Flag Manual and Training CD Package. "The most critical thing is protecting patients' identity. It's not about the doctor. It's about the patients' financial identity. The lobbyists forgot that this is not about practices; it's about patients and their customer's financial information."

The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill October 22 that would exempt a healthcare practice with 20 or fewer employees from the FTC's identity theft Red Flags Rule requirement. The Senate is now considering the bill.

The Red Flags Rule, which will be enforced starting June 1, 2010, requires healthcare entities considered to be "creditors" to implement an identity theft prevention program.

Most Popular