Please help the ADA help you by writing to your Representatives in Congress, asking them to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to express opposition to the Federal Trade Commission's plan to apply the Red Flags Rule on identity theft to dental practices. The Rule is currently scheduled to go into effect on May 1.
As you know, more than 80% of dental practices comprise one or two dentists and identity theft is generally not a problem for dental offices. This rule would therefore have very little benefit, but would add unnecessary costs to the delivery of dental care. The American Dental Association estimates that the average cost to implement and manage a Red Flags program will be at least $600 per dental office.
It is very possible that compelling dentists to comply with the Rule could lead to serious conflicts with HIPAA privacy provisions and thus result in additional costs associated with obtaining legal advice. Unfortunately, despite all this compelling evidence, which I and ADA staff have explained in direct conversations with the FTC, the Commission still persists in its position that the Rule applies to virtually every dental office in the nation regardless of size.
I am pleased to report, however, that we have had some recent progress. Because of ADA efforts, the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee recently sent a letter to the FTC Commissioner asking for a delay in the implementation of the Red Flags Rule, as well as issuance of a revised rule that clarifies whether health professionals face any obligations to implement a Red Flags program. In her letter, the Chairwoman clearly stated that in her considered opinion, the FTC failed to follow legally mandated procedures. She said the FTC did not conduct a meaningful analysis of the effect the Rule would have on healthcare providers, and the FTC also failed to provide an opportunity for healthcare providers to submit comments about the burdens the Rule would place on them (the letter is attached here)
I am also attaching here the April 6 ADA News article about what the ADA has already done on your behalf to fight the Red Flags Rule. Now we need your help to keep the ball rolling. Communicate to your elected representatives the undeniable fact that forcing dental practices to comply with the Red Flags Rule will have little impact on identity theft, do nothing to improve the oral healthcare of the public, and cost dentists money and resources that should be expended elsewhere, especially in these economically distressed times.
Your immediate response is appreciated -- May 1 is fast approaching.
John S. Findley, D.D.S.
American Dental Association