The Academy has been working closely with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and other medical associations to prevent the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from applying the "Red Flags" rule to all physicians, including neurologists.
As reported by the Academy in the August 2009 issue of AANnews, the Red Flags rule deems physicians to be "creditors" and requires their practices to have written and implemented protections against identity theft. The FTC delayed implementation in 2009, but the rule is scheduled to go into effect December 31, 2010.
In the opinion of the AAN and CMSS, compliance with the Red Flags rule imposes significant burdens on physicians, particularly solo practitioners and those practicing in small groups. Consequently, in August 2010, CMSS, on behalf of its member societies and other intervenor societies, filed a motion to intervene in an existing case brought against the FTC by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and Medical Society for the District of Columbia.
The goal of CMSS and the Academy is to ensure that all physicians—including neurologists—are spared from this imposed hardship. Without the intervention of CMSS, the Academy, and the other organizations, the AMA/AOA lawsuit, if successful, would have exempted only members of the AMA, AOA, Medical Society of the District of Columbia, and state medical societies from complying with the rule.
The Academy will continue to monitor this case closely and will keep members informed about developments.