World Privacy Forum Publishes Red Flag Rule Suggestions for Hospitals and Providers; new FTC-enforced rules go into effect Nov. 1, can apply to health care providers

WORLD PRIVACY FORUM
PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release Sept. 24, 2008

(Report) World Privacy Forum Publishes Red Flag Rule Suggestions for Hospitals and Providers; new FTC-enforced rules go into effect Nov. 1, can apply to health care providers

SAN DIEGO, Ca., Sept. 24 – The World Privacy Forum’s latest report, Red Flag and Address Discrepancy Requirements: Suggestions for Health Care Providers, discusses the applicability of the new FTC regulations to the health care sector along with suggestions for providers. The report addresses newly issued regulations by the Federal Trade Commission that require financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. Health care providers – whether they are for-profit, non-profit, or governmental entities – may have obligations under the new rules.

Medical identity theft is a real concern in the health care sector, and is included expressly in the Red Flag Rules Guidelines. The possibility of medical identity theft gives rise to a duty to monitor for the potential that patients may be victims, among other duties outlined by the new regulations. The regulations take effect November 1, 2008, and will be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

“The Red Flag Rules are an important opportunity for the health care sector to protect consumers and patients from the impacts of medical identity theft,” said World Privacy Forum executive director Pam Dixon. “If implemented correctly, the new regulations could ease some of the problems consumers have been experiencing with the impacts of this crime.”

The World Privacy Forum published the first major report on medical identity theft and brought that crime to national attention for the first time. To read the Red Flag report visit http://www.worldprivacyforum.org. Visit the World Privacy Forum’s Medical Identity Theft page for more information, and to sign up for the latest medical ID theft news: http://www.worldprivacyforum.org/medicalidentitytheft.html.

The World Privacy Forum is a nonprofit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) public interest research group. The organization is focused on redefining privacy in a modern digital era by means of conducting in-depth research, analysis, and consumer education. The World Privacy Forum’s groundbreaking work has documented and brought national attention to critical new areas, some for the first time – including medical identity theft. Areas of focus for the World Privacy Forum include health care, technology, and the financial sector. The California-based World Privacy Forum was founded in 2003 and works both nationally and internationally. www.worldprivacyforum.org.