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December 2010 Vol. 4, Issue 12 Subscribe | Past issues | Advertise | eMagazine Archives

Enforcement of Identity Theft Prevention Program

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Jan. 1, 2011 Enforcement of Identity Theft Prevention Program for Some Utilities and Ambulance Services

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to develop "Red Flag Rules."

These rules require counties to develop written policies designed to detect, prevent and mitigate instances of identity theft for utility customers and patients (when the county bills for ambulance services).  The enforcement of the Red Flag Rules has been repeatedly delayed.  Currently, it is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.  However, it is possible that the FTC will delay enforcement again. 

For counties that have not adopted an identity theft prevention program, ACCG has developed the ACCG Identity Theft Prevention Program that may be helpful.  Even if the FTC’s Red Flag Rules are not enforced on Jan. 1, 2011, counties may still want to look at how they handle patient and customer accounts and consider adopting a written policy designed to detect the warning signs, or "red flags," of identity theft in their day-to-day operations.

Commissioners should discuss the FTC rules with their county attorney to see whether their ambulance service, utility service or any other county service is subject to the Red Flags Rule. The FTC has prepared a FAQ for the applicability of the Red Flag Rules to local governments generally.  They also have written an article, "The ‘Red Flags’ Rule: What Health Care Providers Need to Know About Complying with New Requirements for Fighting Identity Theft," that may be helpful to counties that provide ambulance service.


The Potts Company
ACCG, Georgia's County Association
191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
phone: 404-522-5022 | fax: 404-525-2477 |