At the request of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has once again delayed enforcement of the Red Flags Rule until December 31, 2010. The FTC announcement also noted that, if Congress passes legislation limiting the scope of the Red Flag Rule, and such legislation has an effective date earlier than December 31, 2010, the FTC will begin enforcement as of that effective date. Follow this link to read the FTC announcement.

On October 20, 2009, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3763, which would automatically exempt health care, accounting and legal practices that employ 20 or fewer employees from the Red Flag Rule. The bill would allow larger businesses to apply for exemptions, if the business "knows all of its customers or clients individually; only performs services in or around the residences of its customers; or has not experienced incidents of identity theft and identity theft is rare for businesses of that type." The bill has been awaiting a hearing in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs for the past seven months. Similar legislation (S.B. 3416) was introduced in the Senate on May 26, 2010.

More information about the FTC Red Flag Rules is available on our Red Flag Rules Resource Center. The Ohio Hospital Association and Bricker & Eckler have also developed a Red Flag Rules Hospital Compliance Guide, available for subscription, which offers assistance to hospitals with these rules.