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ADA presses Senate for Red Flags exemption following House victory

Washington—The Association pushed for Senate legislation "to stop needless government regulation" as the Federal Trade Commission Red Flags Rule was scheduled to take effect Nov. 1.

"The majority of dental practices comprise only one or two dentists," the Association said in an e-mail message to some 23,000 politically active grassroots dentists.

"In these circumstances, enforcing the rule would have very little benefit but would add unnecessary cost to the delivery of dental care, particularly for dentists who are already feeling the effects of the bad economy."

The Association estimates that the average cost to implement and manage a Red Flags program will be at least $600 per dental office, or $80 million for 130,000 dental offices.

The Capwiz e-communication included a separate "action alert." "We once again need your help to stop needless government regulation from encroaching into dental offices," said the alert from ADA President Ron Tankersley and Executive Director Kathleen O'Loughlin.

"Over the summer, an amazing 12,000 of you wrote to Congress, asking that dentistry be exempted from the Red Flags Rule on identity theft," the ADA leaders said.

"The U.S. House of Representatives has listened to your grassroots tour de force and last week unanimously passed legislation, H.R. 3763, by a 400-0 vote to exempt small health care providers from the FTC Red Flags Rule (ADA News Today Oct. 21, U.S. House passes ADA-backed Red Flags exemption legislation).

The Oct. 28 "action alert" urged members to "write your senators" in support of similar Senate legislation. The separate "e-mail message to the Senate from our members" allows ADA members to forward the message to their two senators but it does not discourage other written communications.

Senate action was unlikely before Nov. 1 when the latest of three FTC enforcement delay was set to expire. The Association will provide updates to the Red Flags story in ADA News Today.