ACH Announces â€œRed Flagsâ€ Identity Theft Practices
In conjunction with Federal Trade Commission mandates, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />AllianceCommunityHospital is enforcing â€œRed Flagsâ€ Identity Theft protocols at the hospital and all of its affiliated entities.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
ACH Compliance Officer Rob Hritz explained the regulation.
â€œ'Red Flags' is a basically a rule created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), to further empower consumers in the fight against identity theft.â€ Hritz said the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act is a federal law that was passed in 2003.
Although â€œRed Flagsâ€ was conceived a few years ago and despite its implementation date having been changed more than once, hospitals must now comply by November 1, 2009.
The FTC requires that each participating business and facility develop a written document that thoroughly details the measures it is undertaking in order to protect the identifying information of its employees and clients.
Hritz said ACH is already there.
â€œWe have our official policy written and are in the process of printing signs, placards, and posters for display throughout all of our facilities that will explain to patients, visitors, and colleagues why we need to verify patient information with photo ID cards,â€ he said. Also, ACH has taken measures to ensure that patients providing private identity information are only asked to do so in secure, private settings within the hospital.
Hritz noted that patients who cannot produce a valid Ohio Driver's License (when registering for or remitting payment of services) will be asked to provide governmental or state-issued ID cards, passports, or military identifications that include photographs for identity verification.
In addition, ACH has already taken steps to ensure that all vendors and service providers who have physical or electronic access to sensitive information (including but not limited to insurance agents, accountants, copier companies, cleaning services, etc.) are compliant with â€œRed Flags,â€ as well as all patient protection and privacy laws.
â€œThe health, safety, and privacy of our patients, visitors, and colleagues are our priorities here at ACH and that includes keeping anyone and everyone who walks through our doors as protected as possible from identity theft,â€ said Hritz.
For a copy of ACH's Identity Theft Prevention Policy, please contact Rob Hritz at 330-596-7527.